Health-related absenteeism impacts individuals, companies, and society. Its consequences are reflected in the cost of benefits, substitutes, and reduced productivity. Research shows that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common work-related health problem reported by hospital staff. This study determines the groups at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre that are most susceptible to MSDs, especially low back pain.


Using data from the Health Data Centre of the Slovenian National Public Health Institute and the medical centre, this cross-sectional study analysed absenteeism among medical centre employees. The correlation between MSD / low-back pain risk factors and incidence was determined using logistic regression. An odds ratio was calculated to determine the probability of MSDs, most especially low back pain via sex, age, occupation, and education.


Sick leave at the medical centre is higher than 5%, exceeding the Slovenian healthcare sector average. MSDs, as the main reason for absence, is significantly more frequent in women, non-medical staff, and employees with a maximum secondary school education. Among the MSDs, low back pain predominates as a reason for absence and is most frequent among nurses, midwives, and employees of 20 to 44.9 years old.


This study offers insight into the health status of medical centre employees. The high percentage of sick leave is mainly due to musculoskeletal disorders, including low back pain. This is an important basis for further monitoring and analysis of sick leave indicators and for planning systematic and continuous workplace health-promoting measures to manage ergonomic risk factors and reduce health-related absenteeism.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine