Lost Work Days

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Lead Author(s): 

Stuart I. Weinstein, MD
Edward H. Yelin, PhD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Twenty-eight million persons with a musculoskeletal condition, or roughly one in eight people in the prime working ages between 18 and 64 in the United States in 2012, reported lost work days in the previous 12 months, totaling more than 216 million days. Lost work days for persons with a musculoskeletal conditions accounted for more than four times as many days as the second highest condition, which was depression. Chronic circulatory conditions, including high blood pressure and heart conditions, accounted for 32.3 million lost work days, and were reported by only 1% of the working age population. Chronic respiratory conditions accounted for 16.5 million lost work days. On average, workers lost nearly 8 days in a 12-month period because of musculoskeletal conditions. Workers lost an average of 15 days because of circulatory conditions, but with a much smaller prevalence than musculoskeletal conditions. (Reference Table 1.8.2 PDF CSV, and Table 1.8.3 PDF CSV)
Proportion of Persons Age 18 and Over Self-Reporting Lost Work Days Due to Major Health Conditions, United States 2012
As with bed days, females and persons age 45 to 64 report higher rates of lost work days because of musculoskeletal conditions than do males and adults age 18 to 44 or over 65. (Reference Table 1.8.4 PDF CSV, and Table 1.8.5 PDF CSV)


  • 2014

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