How often do you really think about your posture? Did you know that it might be the real reason why you might have back pain?

Bet that made you sit up straight, didn’t it?

[Read more: Lower back pain exercises to ease discomfort]

A study by health experts Bupa has found we’re all being a bit blasé when it comes to our everyday muscle, joint and bone aches. In fact, they say a lot of us are just “soldiering on in silence”.

More than half of British adults (58%) say they have suffered from muscle, bone or joint pain (such as back pain or arthritis) at some point in their lives.

But the findings from Bupa reveal that one in four (23%) people are taking a ‘grin and bear it’ approach – admitting they would wait at least a month before seeing their GP about their pain.

Meanwhile, one in five (20%) people say it is unlikely they would speak to a GP about the condition at all.

[Read more: Tight shoulder exercises]

An incredible 31 million work days are lost every year in Britain as a result of these musculoskeletal issues, according to the Office for National Statistics, with it being the number one cause of workplace absence, but a third (30%) of Brits do not see these conditions as a serious problem.

Women in particular, were less likely to seek help, from their GP about muscle, bone or joint pain, with more than a quarter (28%) saying they would wait a month or more to see a GP about these conditions, compared to only 18% of men.

Katherine Cran, physiotherapist at Bupa, says musculoskeletal issues are often the result of bad posture and a lack of movement – often a result of desk-bound working, but also from sitting anywhere for too long.

She says: “It’s worrying that so many people are affected by muscle, bone and joint pain. While most pain can be managed through rest and light exercise, if the pain is severe, you’re worried or if you are also suffering from other symptoms, always seek medical advice.”

How are we coping?

Rather than troubling our GP, Bupa’s research has revealed British adults are seeking alternative ways of treating muscle, bone or joint pain:

* More than a third (37%) said they would consider alternative therapies, such as yoga or going to the gym

* A third (33%) of people said they would manage their condition with painkillers rather than see their GP

* One in four (25%) people would recommend treating muscle, bone or joint pain with home remedies, such as hot baths