New report suggests 20% of UK sick days are taken due to musculoskeletal problems


Here at OrthoSole HQ, we like to keep an eye on the latest stats around workplace absences. We’ve known for some time now that joint and back pain are causing wide scale problems for workers, and that cases of plantar fasciitis are on the rise in business environments.

But concrete findings from the Office for National Statistics have proven that musculoskeletal problems now account for a shockingly high percentage of workplace absences.

This means that if employers want to keep sick days down and productivity high, they need to be focusing their efforts on looking after the physical health of their staff. And one of the best ways to do this is to invest in suitable preventative measures that will stop these kinds of conditions from developing in the first place.

What’s the latest, then?

According to a recent report from the independent institute, which has been summarised on Statista, there were an estimated 141 million workdays lost in the UK through sickness absence in 2018 – and 20% of these were cited as being down to musculoskeletal problems. That means that a fifth of all sick days are being taken due to injuries or disorders that affect the body’s movement systems.

This shouldn’t really be surprising news given that, according to a separate Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study from 2017, musculoskeletal conditions are currently the highest contributor to global disability. We know that 20-33% of people across the world are affected by musculoskeletal disorders such as:

  • Sprains, strains and fractures
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

What do many of these conditions have in common?

Though the development of many musculoskeletal conditions is down to genetics, they can, in part, be caused by ergonomic risk factors such as poor posture and excessive force.

And we know that employers can tackle these two issues head-on by introducing OrthoSole orthotic insoles into the workforce straightaway.

How can OrthoSole insoles help to prevent musculoskeletal problems?

First of all, our insoles have been specifically designed to reduce the amount of pressure that’s placed on the lower limbs. This is important, because extra stress on the feet and ankles can have a shockwave effect on the knees, hips and lower back – and lead to pain and soreness in the joints and muscles.

Standing or sitting incorrectly, placing too much strain on certain areas of the body and under-engaging certain muscles can all put a large burden on our musculoskeletal system – but workers often adopt bad postural habits without realising the damage they are doing to themselves.

OrthoSole insoles also work to bring the body back into alignment and combat these all-too-common symptoms of poor posture.

Plus, our orthotics will proactively address problems such as pronation, plantar fasciitis and abnormal walking patterns by providing a tailored support system that works with your body, not against it. This is achieved by the use of several metatarsal pads in varying thicknesses that can be reconfigured to deliver comfortable cushioning in virtually any type of footwear.

Are our insoles expensive?

No. When you consider the cost of our insoles, then work out the expected wear, it’s possible for employers to provide each member of staff with all the above benefits for as little as 6p per day. This nominal short-term spend could save hundreds, if not thousands of pounds further down the line by preventing the onset of back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions that are costing firms dearly in terms of productivity. Investing in customisable orthotic insoles is also a much cheaper option for businesses than ordering tailor-made orthotic work boots or shoes for employees.

Want to learn more?

We’re always happy to hear from employers who take their health and safety obligations seriously – and who want to cut down staff absences by proactively preventing the onset of musculoskeletal conditions. Contact OrthoSole today for more information or to book your free onsite product demonstration.

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