Workaholics may beware. A recent research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has revealed that people who are ill and repeatedly carry on their work can significantly enhance their chances of taking long term leave later on.
This phenomenon of doing work during illness is known as “sickness presence”. Before the research little is known about its long term impact on the behavior of the persons involved, but the study has opened the Pandora box. During the study, researchers randomly selected 12,000 Danes of working age, who were doing the job continuously for one year. They were asked to answer questions relating to their attitude to work, understanding to be absent when ill and general well being. They were also encouraged to reveal how many times they joined their work during illness, when they should have been resting at home. Their response was matched up with the official records which showed the periods in which sick leave for a period lasting at least a fortnight for the next 18 months.
The research focused on the causes of illness during which the leave was applied but the incumbent was present in the office despite their sickness: a heavy workload, poor general health, work-family life conflicts, obesity, holding a senior level post, a good level of social support.
Those incumbents who turn up to office despite their illness at least half a dozen times were 53% more likely end up taking sickness leave for two more weeks, and 74% more likely to take more than two months leave, as against those workers who did not come to the office during illness. Authors conclude by saying that during short period breaks workers could cope better with stresses of a hectic task and all in all the employment is good for health. But they warned that long term sick leave is associated with problems finding work. Another research which was printed ahead of printing the same Journal revealed that taking a week or more of sick leave for mental health problem drastically increases the chances of early death. In the study researchers considered sick leave records from the French GAZEL study which involved 20,000 employees in the age group of 37 to 51.
Causes of Illness
According to traditional Chinese medicine the causes of illness can be determined by way of a number of factors. The external factors responsible for illness relate to: cold, heat, wind, dryness, summer heat and dampness. While internal cause of illness could be due to emotions like anger, sadness, worry, fear, pensiveness and shock. Other factors include diet, lifestyle and accidents etc.
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