A study has found that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for almost half of all sick leave, both in the UK and across Europe. No less than 49% of all sickness absence is caused by MSDs, said the Fit for Work Europe report by the Work Foundation business consultancy group.Â It estimates that this costs the UK economy Â£7bn each year, rising to 240bn euros ($349bn; Â£219bn) across Europe.
The report says an estimated one million people in the UK alone suffer from MSDs that cause them to take time off work, with 9.5 million working days lost each year. It warns that both these numbers are set to rise as a result of an ageing workforce, the growth in obesity and the general decline in physical activity. The study calls for a renewed effort across Europe to tackle MSDs, led by an increase in early detection.