New Year's fitness regimes to blame for spike in employee absence

Businesses hit as over-eager employees get injured

Injuries caused by New Year’s fitness resolutions have resulted in a spike in employee absence rates across the country, it was claimed today.

A survey of 2,000 chartered physiotherapists suggests that there has been a “huge” increase in musculoskeletal injuries and sickness absence in the months of March and April. It is thought that over-ambitious exercise regimes, begun as part of individuals' New Year’s resolutions, are to blame.

The survey by physiotherapist provider Physio Med found that requests for physiotherapy appointments increased “dramatically” in March and April, with 89% of respondents to the survey naming injuries related to exercise and sport as one of the most common reasons for people to seek treatment at this time. Other less common causes include work related injuries, DIY, gardening and even road traffic accidents.

Asked what the most common cause of fitness related injury was, the physiotherapists reported that around half (49%) were caused by people overestimating their ability and pushing themselves too far, with more than a quarter (27%) citing lack of proper instruction on correct fitness techniques or gym equipment and 12% blaming a failure to warm-up before exercising.

The three most common injuries seen by respondents are lower back pain, followed by neck or upper back pain and shoulder pain, Physio Med said.

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