Top 10 Pains Singaporeans Suffer From at Work Costing Employers 40 Days Annually

February 20, 20178:20 am273 views

If you experience a headache or body pain once every other month, you are not alone. In conjunction with the launch of Nurofen’s over-the-counter status in Singapore, Nurofen commissioned a nationwide health survey of 800 Singaporeans to determine the frequency and implications of the top 10 common pains Singaporeans suffer from.

The top 10 frequent pains ranked in order include:

  1. Headache
  2. Dental pain
  3. Menstrual pain
  4. Back pain
  5. Migraine pain
  6. Muscular aches
  7. Shoulder pain
  8. Calf pain
  9. Neck pain
  10. Tension headache

According to the health survey findings, 72 percent of respondents were found to experience one of these top pains monthly, resulting in work absence and productivity loss of up to 10 days quarterly/ 40 days annually.

“Self-medication is one of the fastest growing trend among consumers and we are delighted to have achieved the General Sale List (GSL) medication classification from the Health Science Authority. Singaporeans are often plagued with acute pains due to their lifestyles.”

“Nurofen is one of the most well-established and reputable pain relief in the market globally and we want to help them address these pains effectively, ensuring they enjoy the quality of everyday life,” said Justin Lee, Marketing Manager, RB Malaysia & Singapore. “On the other hand, employers can feel the pain too due to the significant productivity loss and work absence.”

A Big Headache

Among the top 10 pains experienced by the respondents, headache was ranked the top and most frequent pain – close to 30 percent of respondents. Of those affected, 74 percent and 27 percent experienced it at least once a month and once a week respectively. Majority of the headache episodes were reported to last between one and three hours.

Headache was also found to be more prevalent among females aged between 21 and 29 years old, and males aged between 30 and 39 years old. Among the respondents, over 50 percent were unaware that headaches are caused by neck or muscular pains. Work absence and productivity loss was also up to 10 days quarterly/ 40 days annually.

See: Must-Do Tasks That Cost Productive Time Loss

Dr. Mathew Tung Yu Yee, Specialist in Pain Management and Neurosurgery, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Pacific Healthcare Specialist Centre added, “With the advent of technology, there is an increased daily usage of digital communication devices from desktops to mobile. Prolonged usage of these devices can cause tension to build up in various parts of the body especially the neck, leading to headaches at times. In addition, we see a trend where working professionals who frequently travel especially to different time zones are more likely to suffer from various body pains to headaches due to the time differences, high altitude and lack of rest. Lifestyle modifications will be key to improvement.”

Nurofen: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine

Nurofen was the first OTC medicine to use ibuprofen globally. Ibuprofen in Nurofen targets the source of pain by inhibiting production of prostaglandins – chemicals which help transmit pain signals to the brain.

Nurofen is the number one Systemic Analgesic in Europe and Australia with presence in over 60 countries. Nurofen continues the push to find more ways to provide effective pain relief and is now available in tablets, gel caps and liquids.

In Singapore, where previously classified by HSA as Pharmacy Only Medicine (P) i.e. only available in Singapore through pharmacies or sold under the supervision of a pharmacist, Nurofen (ibuprofen) Tablet 200mg has achieved product reclassification to GSL. This means it is now available over-the-counter.

Nurofen is the first ibuprofen to achieve this product reclassification in 2016 from HSA since HSA’s yearly reclassification exercise launched in January 2016. A total of 27 other health products from eyedrops, topical scalp treatments to topical preparations for hair loss have been also reclassified.

According to HSA, it has been conducting reclassification exercises regularly, to shift more medicines to a lower tier of control, to make more drugs available ‘Over the Counter’ (OTC), whereby they can be purchased from retail shelves or directly from the pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription.

Also read: Presenteeism at Workplace: Why Do Employees Go to Work When Sick?

Feature image credit: Freepik