Every year British businesses lose nearly 20 million working days through ill health.
Over half of these are due to back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. Physiotherapy
can help you avoid these costs and keep your business fighting fit.
Ill health doesn’t just cost businesses millions of pounds through lost work time,
it also leads to lower productivity from staff who ‘soldier on’ with back pain, repetitive
strain injuries (RSI) and other conditions.
It’s clearly in industry’s financial interest to address these problems. There
are also increasingly compelling legal reasons. New EC regulations on manual handling
and VDU use, for instance, have placed greater responsibility on employers to safeguard
their staff’s health.
Chartered physiotherapists can help you rise to these challenges and fulfil your
business’s potential. As specialists in human movement, they can provide:
- Treatment for musculoskeletal conditions
- back, neck and shoulder pain
- repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- respiratory problems
- stress-related conditions, such as headaches
- Preventative advice
- lifting and handling techniques
- posture and other ergonomic issues
- avoiding RSI at keyboards and on production lines
- relaxation techniques
Chartered physiotherapists understand how the body reacts to work – how muscles,
bones and joints move and how injuries and pain can occur. Trained to a high clinical
standard, typically a three-to-four year degree course, they can apply their expertise
to identify existing and potential problems and provide remedial measures.
In some cases, this will involve treating individual problems for example, through
massage, ultrasound and exercises to build strength and flexibility. In other instances,
physiotherapists advise businesses on ergonomics – how to find the optimal relationship
between a task and the person carrying it out. This can range from assistance in
designing workstations to recommendations for sitting positions, work flows, and
how to combat stress. This type of help can make a significant difference to the
health and performance of all employees, manual and ‘desk bound’.
An holistic approach
Although businesses feel the costs of their staff’s ill health, the problems can
be due to factors outside work, including an individual’s lifestyle, leisure activities
and general health.
Physiotherapists take all these issues into account. Before they treat a patient,
they identify the root of the problem and suggest a solution that fits the individual’s
personal circumstances. They also monitor the patient’s own rehabilitation programme
and propose activities, such as exercise, to prevent the problem recurring.
An unhealthy business
According to the Health & Safety Executive’s ‘Labour Force Survey’, two million employees
suffer from occupational illnesses or ill-health each year:
- 1.2 million have musculoskeletal conditions such as RSI and back pain
- Half a million are debilitated by stress, leading to anxiety, irritability and loss
Half of all these people will take time off work.
Publication courtesy of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, please see the CSP
website for further information.