Worried Brits in work despite feeling ill

3rd March 2008

Under-pressure Brits are battling into work despite being ill, according to new research(1) from Benenden Healthcare, the mutual healthcare provider.

Its survey has revealed that over 23m Brits – 63% of the adult population – have had a cold in the past three months, but that despite being ill 70% of them have not taken a single day off work. Out of the people who have had colds, 25% have felt ill for over a week.

Benenden Healthcare fears the findings may reflect current economic uncertainty, with workers trying to avoid taking days off in order to impress bosses with their commitment.

In some regions the percentage of people going to work despite having a cold is 9% higher than in other areas, with the Midlands seeing a particularly large proportion of people going to work despite feeling ill, and Greater London having much fewer people working whilst sick:

 

     

North East/Yorkshire/ Humberside

71%

71%

South East/ East Anglia

65%

69%

North West

64%

72%

Midlands

61%

78%

Scotland

60%

76%

Wales and West

60%

71%

Greater London

58%

69%

 

 

 

The results from a similar survey(2) conducted in February 2007 found that only 52% had had a cold in the preceding three months. The 11% increase in 2008 is believed to be down to the particularly wide spread this year of the winter vomiting disease (norovirus).

Jill Gardiner of Benenden Healthcare said: “It is very concerning that people evidently feel under such pressure that they are going back to work while still ill. It could well be that people think taking a day off is a sign of weakness, while battling into the office shows commitment to their job. The reality is that it will only delay their recovery from their illness and risk infecting others. It’s important people get sufficient rest and time to recuperate from illnesses, even the common cold.”

 

(1) TNS surveyed 1022 GB adults aged 16-64 between 15th-17th January 2008. (2)TNS surveyed 1006 GB adults aged 16+ between 9-11 February 2007.

 

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