The Pain Facts
Fremont, OH - Now that more Americans are getting back to work, we must deal with one of the facts of work life: working can be painful.
In fact, according to some of the most recent data available,* more than half of the American workforce reports having work-related headaches, back pain, arthritis, or other musculoskeletal pain.
Although headaches were the most common pain reported, they did not necessarily result in lost productive time, according to the studies.
Instead, musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, and/or back pain produced the largest amount of lost productive time, averaging about 5.2 hours per week.
The studies found that age did not appear to be a factor in the findings. Nor did workers that perform "heavy lifting" at work complain more frequently of pain.
However, one study did note that as we age, "arthritis hinders the normally smooth sliding motion of joints and connective tissues," which can result in more work-related pain.
Interestingly, the studies did not find that losses in worker productivity were the result of worker absenteeism. Instead, most (76 percent) of the pain-related lost productive time was in the form of reduced performance.
"This means that workers are at work, but their work performance is slowed or hampered due to pain," says Christopher Tricozzi, vice president of sales and marketing for Crown Mats and Matting. "We find this most with people who must stand for prolonged periods of time at work."
The cost of all this pain to American employers can be staggering.
One study estimates the costs to be more than $61 billion per year, the result chiefly of reduced worker performance.
However, another more recent study indicated low-back pain alone cost employers more than $86 billion when healthcare expenses, lost income, and reduced productivity are calculated.
"Anti-fatigue matting systems can help alleviate much of this pain and the related costs," says Tricozzi. "That is why some companies in the matting industry has put so much time and research into developing anti-fatigue matting technology."
*Sources: American Productivity Audit (2002); Voices of Chronic Pain (2006/2008); American Pain Foundation (2008)
About Crown Mats and Matting
For more than 60 years, Crown Mats and Matting has been a pioneer in the development and manufacture of matting products. Beginning with the invention of walk-off matting by the company''s founder, R.P. Johnson, the company now has the most diverse matting product line offered in our industry. Crown sells matting through an extensive network of highly trained sales representatives throughout the United States and worldwide. These sales experts are familiar with the features and benefits of all matting systems and are able to help their clients find the right system for virtually any application.