Since we started working with Work Screen, I have become increasingly interested in the psycho-social factors surrounding the many musculoskeletal issues we address each year. I’m not any sort of expert (I’m no more than a beginner) but I have researched the topic, attended resilience training and had many discussions with experienced professionals so I’m coming to understand more of the “bigger picture”.
What certainly seems to be the case is that, where we assist individuals with apparent musculoskeletal problems (bad backs, upper limb disorders, etc.), it is apparent that issues beyond the purely physical are becoming increasingly relevant. At the moment, these observations are entirely anecdotal but conversations with physiotherapists, GPs and others suggest my observations are well-founded.
So how does an employer address the biopsychosocial (BPS) needs of their personnel? Many of the people we deal with are working longer hours with fewer resources than a few years ago. Most organisations in both the public and private sector are still cutting back or, at the very least, maintaining strict controls over costs. As I have explored elsewhere, reduced absenteeism statistics may be concealing increased presenteeism.
Wellness or wellbeing programmes are becoming more widespread and, it seems to me, there is a clear need to provide personnel with more information and guidance to increase their resilience. I don’t pretend to have answers – just questions! I welcome feedback from anyone who can tell me more about this topic. I think its relevance will continue to grow over the next few years.