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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 2 February, 2000, 07:43 GMT
Campaign against back pain
More than 11m working days a year lost to back pain
Workers are to get lessons in relaxation techniques and taking more exercise as part of a 700,000 scheme to tackle back-pain.
Back pain facts
More than 11m working days are lost each year due to back pain, costing British industry 5bn
More than 16m people - 40% of all adults in the country - had back pain lasting more than a day in 1998
Back pain is most common among middle aged people, but it also affects younger men and women
Each person with back pain takes an average of 13 days off work
Fewer than half those hit by back pain will consult their doctor, although one in 10 will receive hospital outpatient treatment.
The initiative is aimed at cutting the 11 million working days lost each year to the complaint, believed to cost British business 5bn annually.

Organisations taking part in the Back in Work initiative range from health authorities to one of the firms operating dustcarts for a string of local councils.

More than 330 organisations applied for government funding with 19 chosen to run pilot projects to examine ways of reducing the 40% of adults who suffer with the problem each year.

Aero engine manufacturers Rolls Royce are looking at having physiotherapists on hand to deal with the first signs of pain, while Loughborough University will try and make sure new car designs do not leave their drivers with a bad back.

Public health minister Yvette Cooper said: "Results from these projects will be used to develop good practice for all businesses to use to improve the health of their workers.

"The workplace is a key place for improving the health of the worst off in society and reducing health inequalities."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Joe Campbell reports
"Back pain is reckoned to be the biggest cause of people taking time off work"
See also:

03 Dec 99 | Education
05 Aug 99 | Health
30 Jun 99 | Health
30 Jul 99 | Health
11 Feb 99 | Health
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