No pain, no gain – but don’t exercise too hard

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injuries caused by workers trying to follow a New Year fitness resolution have led to a big increase in sickness absence in the past few weeks, according to research.

The problem of ambitious exercise regimes is causing headaches for employers having to deal with staff taking time off to recover, it was warned.

Physio Med, a physiotherapy provider, said over-eager fitness enthusiasts and sporting novices trying to get fit for the new year were leading to an increase in injuries.

A survey of 2,000 chartered physiotherapists found that appointments had increased by up to 50 per cent in recent weeks, mainly to deal with injuries related to exercise and sport.

Mark Fletcher, clinical director at Physio Med, said: “Musculoskeletal injuries are currently the number one reason for long-term sickness absence in the workplace.

“We may be well into 2012 now, but our physiotherapists are continuing to see the effects of over-enthusiastic New Year fitness campaigns.

“Within the healthcare industry, we obviously encourage physical exercise, but a sudden increase in activity – such as a new fitness campaign – should be approached with caution.”