- Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that back pain relief is gaining popularity as a wellness plan offering. Nearly half of Americans suffer from musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and the annual cost of treatment and absenteeism to employers is around $213 billion annually. Back pain accounts for 10% of healthcare costs and is a major cause of lost productivity, according to EBN.
- Employers spend three times as much on musculoskeletal disorders as cardiovascular disease. This adds up to about $1,200 per employee a year, a Verscend Technologies representative told EBN. The company provides data-driven healthcare solutions.
- Poor posture often causes back problems, and one employer shared how it teamed up with UpRight, a wearables technology vendor, to help employees improve their posture. They created a device that can detect slouching and reminds employees to correct their posture.
Employee wellness programs have expanded beyond physical fitness, healthy eating and weight control. After employers learned more about what was distracting employees (that financial problems were a top stressor, for example), wellness programs expanded to include financial and emotional well-being.
Helping employees manage back pain — a major and costly health concern — through wellness programs is a similar response to a critical need among employees.
A UK poll shows that 51% of remote workers suffer from back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders because they often develop poor working habits by not having an ergonomic setup at home. Offering back-pain management through wellness programs not only helps maintain a healthier workforce, it's also a way to engage off-site employees, who sometimes feel isolated from the workplace.