People who suffer from back pain and other health problems at work do not take care of themselves and carry on working, according to an osteopathy association.

UK employees overestimate how tough their bodies are and younger people tend to think they are infallible, the British Osteopathic Association (BOA) says.

According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the main causes of short-term absence are stomach upsets, flu and colds.

Kelston Chorley, osteopath and head of professional development at the BOA, said people soldier on at work even if they are suffering from back pain.

“We need to get key messages out to young people when they’ve had injuries or back problems that they need to be doing lots of stretching and lots of exercise in order to keep that flexibility they have when they’re young to when they’re 40 or 50,” he added.

The survey also showed in the public sector stress was listed as the main reason for workers taking time off.