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Well at Work

The Cost of Chronic Pain

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Stay-at-home parents are a rare breed these days, with more and more families opting for two incomes and endless juggling of childcare and babysitter needs. And with this added stress comes unexpected pain, according to a new study out of the George Washington University School of Public Health [ScienceDaily.com].

When researchers surveyed over a thousand hospital workers on the topic of work-family responsibilities, they found that those workers with the most conflict endured significantly more musculoskeletal pain, especially in the neck area. Overall, they were at a three-times greater risk for pain.

Depression, heart disease, and substance abuse have also been linked to the work-related constraints of the modern family.

Workplaces that “adopt policies to reduce the juggling act might gain a host of benefits, including a more productive workforce—one that isn't slowed down by chronic aches and pains,” said the lead study author in a press release.

What’s more, a new report in The Journal of Pain states that the annual cost of chronic pain—defined as limiting a person’s ability to work—in the U.S. is as high as $635 billion, more than the costs of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The average bill for an adult: $4,475 a year. According to survey data, chronic pain negatively impacts three components of workplace productivity: days missed, number of hours worked, and hourly wages.

Tags: Health, Stress, Neck, Pain, Work, Neck Pain, Family