Work Productivity Loss in Young Workers Is Substantial and Is Associated With Spinal Pain and Mental Ill-health Conditions

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The aim of this study was to estimate the effect of spinal pain and mental ill-health conditions on work productivity in 22-year-old workers.


A cross-sectional design using data from the Raine Study cohort (n = 867) including self-reported work productivity and self-report of health practitioner diagnosed medical conditions.


Mean (median, 25th-percentile, 75th-percentile) annualized cost of health-related absenteeism was $AUD1899 ($0, $0, $1738) per worker. Annualized cost of presenteeism was $AUD10,674 ($6573, $4003, $13,087) per worker. Spinal pain and mental ill-health conditions were associated with increased health-related absenteeism, but not presenteeism.


Work productivity loss in young workers is a substantial problem needing priority attention. Addressing spinal pain and mental ill-health may improve productivity of this important sector of the workforce.

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