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BJD develops Musculoskeletal Health in the Workplace Project


Musculoskeletal health problems are a leading cause of loss of productivity, absenteeism and early retirement. They are the biggest reason for disabled living allowance in Cornwall and set to pose an increasing burden as working lives become longer.

The BJD ‘Musculoskeletal Health in the Workplace Programme’ (MHWP) recognises a current lack of understanding in some employers about the importance of employee health and wellbeing; which is highly related with the ability to attract and retain employees as well as maintain and improve productivity.

The programme is being developed with a local government employer and two NHS hospital trusts, to maintain musculoskeletal health in the workplace by:

-       encouraging organisations to incorporate musculoskeletal health into their strategic aims and to promote good musculoskeletal health throughout their workforce

-       training line managers to promote musculoskeletal health and manage musculoskeletal problems in the workplace

Core elements of the training programme will include the identification of workplace risk, and conducting musculoskeletal health assessments. It will aim to increase knowledge regarding how employees can care for their own musculoskeletal health, workplace adjustments and the importance of early recognition.

In the future, the project hopes to develop a train the trainer package which will enable the delivery of musculoskeletal training across a range of organisations nationally.

No. 1 cause of disability worldwide gains headlines

The BJD welcomes the increasing levels of interest and awareness in the growing burden of lower back pain as reported in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. Lower back pain is now the number one cause of disability world wide.

The BJD extends its congratulations to author Lyn March, who is also leading the BJD Surveillance Task Force and to Prof. Tony Woolf chair of the BJD who co-authored the report.

To listen to Prof. Woolf talk about back pain on the BBC World Service, please click on the following link.

For further interest the following links will take you to some of the more prestigious media reports that have appeared over the last few days:

Time Magazine:


ITV News:

Musculoskeletal conditions burden the UK economy say BBC

BBC news article

In a recent online article from the BBC back and neck pain are recognised as a leading cause of work days lost in the UK workforce. Almost 31 million days of work were lost last year due to back, neck and muscle problems, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Both the Work Foundation ( and the Chair of the Bone and Joint Decade, Prof Anthony Woolf contributed to the article. “I describe suffering from musculoskeletal disorders as being like a Ferrari without wheels,” says Prof Woolf ”If you don’t have mobility and dexterity, it doesn’t matter how healthy the rest of your body is.”

To read the full article please click on the following link…