Objectives: Although musculoskeletal pain is considered to be a major contributor to chronic pain in Japan, there are few epidemiological studies on chronic musculoskeletal pain in workers. Presenteeism, defined as attendance at work in spite of the need to rest due to poor health, related to chronic pain causes a decrease in labor productivity, and its economic loss is said to be four times greater than that of Absenteeism. In this study, we examined the relationship between the actual state of musculoskeletal pain in workers and chronic musculoskeletal pain and labor productivity, with the goal of obtaining useful information to improve labor productivity. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 3,406 workers, of whom 2,055 were analyzed to determine the prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal pain and the affected body parts, and the influence of work-related factors and the degree of labor productivity loss due to chronic musculoskeletal pain. Results: 34.0% of subjects had chronic musculoskeletal pain. The most commonly reported pain site was “neck and shoulder”. Chronic musculoskeletal pain was significantly more common in people working overtime and in physical workers. Labor productivity was significantly lower in the group with chronic musculoskeletal pain than in the group without musculoskeletal pain, and it was significantly lower in the “neck and shoulder” and “lower back” groups than in the group without chronic musculoskeletal pain. Conclusions: Thirty-four percent of workers were engaged in work while experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain. These workers had significantly decreased labor productivity. Efforts to improve conditions for workers with chronic musculoskeletal pain in each work type and working condition may improve labor productivity.
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