May 12, 2016
Overweight or obese workers and an ageing workforce mean that disability claims for joint disorders and musculoskeletal issues have increased significantly over the past ten years in the United States, according to data from Unum. Trends over the last decade show a 33 percent increase in long term disability claims and 14 percent increase in short term disability claims for musculoskeletal issues; with a 22 percent increase in long term disability claims and 26 percent increase in short term disability claims for joint disorders. “Two particular trends are driving this experience,” said Greg Breter, senior vice president of benefits at Unum. “Aging baby boomers are staying in the workforce longer, and more than a third of US adults are classified as overweight or obese.” The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2022, more than 30 percent of people ages 65-74 will still be working, up from 20 percent in 2002.