IRVING, Texas – Believe it or not, but headaches may be sapping your credit union staffers' productivity. According to an AdvancePCS study entitled Lost Productive Time and Cost Due to Common Pain Conditions in the U.S. Workforce, common pain conditions including headaches, back pain, arthritis and other muscle and joint problems cost employers $61 billion in lost productive time. Three-fourths of the lost productive time occurs while employees are at work. On average, one in eight workers loses five hours of productive time per week from such pain conditions. A headache was the most common cause of lost productive time (affecting 5.4% of the workforce, costing $19.6 billion annually) followed by back pain (3.2%, costing $19.8 billion), arthritis (2%, costing $10.3 billion) and other musculoskeletal pain (2%, costing $11.6 billion). "The productive hours lost while at work had been invisible to employers. This study uncovers the hours and associated costs from common pain ailments," said the study's lead author, Walter F. Stewart, Ph.D., M.P.H., who was director of the AdvancePCS Center for Work and Health when the research was conducted. "Since improving pain management techniques is a cost-effective way to directly affect the bottom line and improve health, employers should make it a high priority. Success in managing pain in the workplace will require collaborative efforts between employers, workers and health care providers."

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