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09 March 2009

Back pain cost R1.2bn a year

Employees taking sick days because of back pain cost companies R1.2-billion a year, a human resources company said.

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Employees taking sick days because of back pain cost companies R1.2-billion a year, a human resources company said.

"Factory workers who operate heavy machinery are the obvious candidates for back trouble, but office workers sitting on chairs that offer little support for hours every day can also develop back problems," said Corporate Absenteeism Management Solutions CEO Johnny Johnson.

He said back pain was the second leading cause of sick days and accounted for 6.4% of the total.

Influenza leading cause
"Companies should realise how much of their absenteeism is caused by back trouble and perhaps look at ways to help employees strengthen their back muscles through exercises or provide them with the physical support via equipment," said Johnson.

The leading cause of absenteeism was influenza, which was reportedly responsible for 11.4% of all sick days. Johnson said influenza as a cause of sick days was most prevalent from March until November.

Gastro-enteritis was the third leading cause of absenteeism and was the cause of 4.6% of sick days taken. - (Sapa, March 2009)

Read more:
Flu biggest cause of absenteeism
More SA workers sick with stress

 
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