Economic impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on work in Europe

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2015 Jun;29(3):356-73. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Oct 24.


Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the leading cause of work disability, sickness absence from work, 'presenteeism' and loss of productivity across all the European Union (EU) member states. It is estimated that the total cost of lost productivity attributable to MSDs among people of working age in the EU could be as high as 2% of gross domestic product (GDP). This paper examines the available evidence on the economic burden of MSDs on work across Europe and highlights areas of policy, clinical and employment practice which might improve work outcomes for individuals and families and reduce the economic and social costs of MSDs.

Keywords: Early intervention; Employment; European Union; Musculoskeletal; Productivity; Sickness absence; Work disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Efficiency
  • Employment / economics
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / economics*
  • Occupational Diseases / economics*