Saturday, July 16, 2005

Nothing Hurts Like Pain

The CDC and corporate campaign to blame illnesses on the victims, through health risk behavior, devotes no attention to identifying causes of health risk behavior [other than the sins of sloth and gluttony.] BrooklynDodger hypothets that pain, as a subset of psychosocial stress, causes health risk behavior, including smoking, eating too much, drinking too much, driving after drinking too much, and driving badly even when not drinking too much.

The workforce studied appears to be a clerical technical professional executive sample. Even there, the prevalence of "pain" complaints is 30%. From the abstract, the Dodger, who hasn't read the full paper, it's not clear how the investigator could separate pain as a symptom of poor physical health, rather than a cause, so the association with pain is not surprising.

Four days a month is actually about 20% of workdays lost or impaired.

Working In Pain Takes Toll(Page 1 of 2)July 15, 2005

(CBS/AP)Employees reporting the highest level of pain were also more likely to report one or more accidents at work in the last year compared with healthy employees.

(WebMD) Nearly one in three workers suffers from pain that affects not only their health but their productivity as well, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed employees of a major Fortune 500 company and found nearly 30 percent were in pain beyond the normal everyday aches and pains, like toothaches or muscle sprains.

Lost productivity due to performing at less than 100 percent on the job (presenteeism) as well as missing work days (absenteeism) amounted to about four days a month for those in pain compared with less than half a day for healthy employees. Researchers say the findings confirm that pain in the workplace is a major cause of lost productivity that merits greater attention by employers


J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Jul;47(7):658-70.

The burden of pain on employee health and productivity at a major provider of business services.

Allen H, Hubbard D, Sullivan S.
The Harris Allen Group, Brookline, Massachusetts 02446, USA.

An electronic survey was conducted in late 2004, which produced a reasonably representative national sample of 1039 active employee respondents. A total of 28.6% of respondents met the study definition for pain. Pain was linked to: 1) drops of more than 45% and 23%, respectively, in Overall Physical and Mental Health; 2) a fivefold increase in health-induced limitations in work performance; and 3) nearly three and two thirds workdays lost to presenteeism and absenteeism over a 4-week period. ... The prevalence of pain and its impact on those with the condition combine to make it an area of much opportunity for improving workforce health and productivity. Musculoskeletal diseases offer a promising initial target for corporate intervention.

No comments: