Thursday, May 14, 2015

Posture Productivity in the Workplace

The WMWO Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a lunch and learn with Dr. Daniel Steffins of the Spinal Health Center in West Monroe as the guest speaker.  Dr. Steffins presented “THE POSTURE-PRODUCTIVITY LINK!” and provided attendees with a host of interesting current absenteeism statistics and how posture effects work productivity. 

According to statistics provided by Dr. Steffin, approximately 31 million work  days were last year lost due to problems such as low back and neck pain as well as headaches. This is a cause for concern considering that the most common reason given for taking a day off sick in 2013 was the common cold, and this led to only 27.4 million days off work.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 650,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs), resulting in costs to employers of over $20 billion . These costs include Worker's Compensation and medical expenses, the latter of which are increasing 2.5 times faster than benefit costs.

Musculoskeletal disorders account for 34% of all lost workdays, and account for $1 of every $3 spent for workers’ compensation, resulting in a total direct cost of $50 billion annually.

Worker's Compensation claims per injury equal $29,000 - $32,000 per year.  Medical bills for the average shoulder injury (excluding surgery) are $20,000 per year.  Indirect costs are 3 to 5 times higher, reaching approximately $150 billion per year.  Cost of hiring replacement staff is between $130,000-166,000 per year.

Poor ergonomic practices or work stations can play a significant role in the development of many preventable musculoskeletal disorders including neck and back pain, shoulder and arm pain, headaches, or occupational overuse syndrome (previously known as RSI). Many of these injuries are avoidable by implementing correct ergonomics within the workplace.

Sustained sitting places increases pressure through the intervertebral discs in your spine.  A poorly adjusted chair will change the posture of your spine resulting in sore lower back muscles, and if your upper back posture in impacted you may sit with your head poking forward to see the monitor.  The average head weighs between 9 to 12 lbs and sitting in a forward head-on-neck posture for extended periods is very fatiguing to your muscles, contributing to headaches.

The National Headaches Foundation noted that half of 400,000 respondents of a 2008 survey stated they miss 1-3 work days per month due to headaches, and headaches cost companies nearly $17 billion annually due to absenteeism, lost productivity and medical expenses.

A recent article in the American Journal of Health Promotions, stated that for every $1 spent on a corporate wellness program, a return of $2.13 to $10.10 can be expected through lower medical claims, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity, and other factors.

Dr. Steffins and his team at Spinal Health Center are able to provide basic services including onsite workstation ergonomic assessments, employee lunch and learn workshops focusing on topics appropriate for your company, and/or onsite 10-minute “stress break” chair massages for employees with zero out-of-pocket expense for your company. Please give them a call today, at 318-322-2250, to schedule a complimentary consultation. They can quickly customize a solution for your company!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Celebrate National Small Business Week May 4-8, 2015

The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes National Small Business Week May 4-8, 2015.

Across the nation and in Louisiana, small businesses have a huge impact on the economy.  The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) reports there are more than 424,000 businesses in Louisiana, employing more than 892,000 people.  Small businesses make up more than 97 percent of Louisiana's employers, providing more than half of the state's private workforce in 2012.

The Small Business Administration reports most of the employment from small businesses come from firms with 20-499 employees.  Most of Louisiana's small businesses are very small as approximately 80 percent of all businesses have no employees and most employers have fewer than 20 employees.

The West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce applauds these small businesses for their hard work and dedication and the value they bring to our local economy.  Small businesses create jobs for our residents, and sales tax generated by these businesses help fund schools, parks, roadways and other amenities that keep our community strong and healthy.

The WMWO Chamber has signs posted at small businesses in West Monroe this week reminding the public to support small business and shop local.  To learn more about the impact small businesses have in this country, please visit