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Does Pain Affect Your Job Performance?

The average employee misses several days of work each year because of the common cold; two or three more for personal or family emergencies; and a few extra "just because." With the exception of those seven or eight days, plus scheduled vacation time and holidays, the average employee spends his or her time engaged in blissful work productivity, right?

Well, not exactly.

Just because you're at work doesn't necessarily mean you're being productive. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, U.S. employers lose more than $60 billion a year because workers aren't as productive as they could be. The culprit: pain.

Researchers tracked nearly 30,000 working adults over a two-week period to determine lost productive time attributable to common pain conditions, including arthritis, back pain, headaches, and other musculoskeletal discomfort. In terms of hours per worker per week, workers who experienced lost productive time from a pain condition lost an average of 4.6 hours. Some of the statistics relative to specific pain conditions were even more startling: Workers who suffered headaches averaged 3.5 lost productive hours per week; those who suffered arthritis or back pain averaged 5.2 lost hours per week. And for employers, this lost time translated into approximately $61.2 billion annually in lost productivity!

Is pain affecting your job performance? If it is, the solution could be as close as your local chiropractor.

If your employer's health plan doesn't include chiropractic coverage, visit to find a chiropractor near you, and take the first step in getting rid of your pain and getting the most out of your time at work.


Stewart WF, Ricci JA, Chee E, et al. Lost productive time and cost due to common pain conditions in the U.S. workforce. Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 12, 2003:290(18), pp2443-54.


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