Physio&Go, the first Swiss company to provide the intervention of physiotherapists directly to companies.

What is a Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD)?  

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) cover about fifteen disorders affecting the muscles, tendons and nerves of limbs and the spine. These are multi-factor diseases with an occupational component.
MSDs appear as pain but also, in the upper limbs, as stiffness, clumsiness or loss of strength.(ref.#2)

Which body parts are affected?  

MSDs are related to excessive workload. They begin as pain or unpleasant sensations that are reversible at the beginning.

What occurs when workload is sustained over time?

If these loads are sustained over time, the body’s ability to recover may be exceeded and established injuries will appear: (ref.#3)

  • Swelling of tendons (especially shoulders, elbows, forearms and wrists).
  • Degeneration of vertebral joints (cervical vertebrae and spine).
  • Compression of nerves (carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, etc).
  • Muscle damage (especially in the neck and shoulders).

In 2014, 90.2% of MSDs affected the upper limbs. (ref.#4)

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Food services, businesess and industries: 97%
Transportation, water, gas, electricity and book publishing industries: 95%
Non-food industries: 94%
Service industries II (temporary manpower, health, cleaning...): 93%
Service industries I (banking, insurance, admin...): 92%
Building and public work industries: 92%
Timber, furniture, paper and textile: 90%
Chemical, rubber and plastics industries: 87%
Metallurgy industry: 84%

Which professional categories are affected?  

These disorders, which are often caused by multiple factors, affect all professions in any line of business and in all industrialised countries. (ref.#5)

What are the human and economic consequences of MSDs for companies?

Human costs:

MSDs are the leading cost of:

  • Recognised occupational diseases.

    • They represent over 87% of occupational diseases.
    • They grow around 20% per year.
  • Work-related injuries.

    • They represent over 44% of work accidents.
  • Inability to work and disability before 45 years of age.

Financial costs:

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1.- Direct costs

These are directly attributable to MSDs and their management.

  • Occupational disease contributions (work-related accidents/occupational diseases).
  • Compensation paid to sick workers (absence/care).
  • Adaptation of workstations.
  • Administrative management fees.

Refs.#6, #7

2.- Indirect costs

These are related to dysfunctions caused by MSDs (2 to 7 times greater than direct costs)

  • Absenteeism and turnover.
  • Loss of production capacity: delays, skills and quality.
  • Loss of productivity: working speed and replacement of skilled people who become unfit.
  • Degradation of the atmosphere in the workplace.

Refs.#6, #7

3.- Strategic costs

Decrease in the company’s ability to mobilise resources to gain or maintain a competitive position.

  • Productive costs: increase in the length of production cycles.
  • Economic costs: impact of overstaffing caused by MSDs on price and competitiveness.
  • Ethical costs: deterioration of the company’s image in the eyes of its customers and its attractiveness.
  • Social costs: risk of conflict and burnout, reduction of motivation.


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Some key figures in Switzerland

According to a study of the SECO State Secretariat for Economic Affairs on occupational and health conditions carried out in 2009, MSDs resulted in:

  • A reduction in productivity and operating costs totalling 3.3 billion francs, for a volume of work estimated at 40.2 billion francs.
  • Cost of sick leave estimated at 1.6 million, i.e. 967 million francs in direct and indirect costs.
  • Productivity losses (5%) for work situations entailing an increased risk of MSDs, i.e. a cost of 5,5 billion francs.

In our preventive and treatment approach to MSDs, Physio&Go helps you to reduce these direct, indirect and strategic costs.