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Repeatedly going to work when ill significantly boosts the chances of having to take long term sick leave later on, reveals a research

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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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4 thoughts on “Repeatedly going to work when ill significantly boosts the chances of having to take long term sick leave later on, reveals a research
  1. Jessy

    Oh my, this is something that really got my attention. I consider myself guilty of this. Often times, I tend to work long hours for consecutive days and one time, upon waking up early in the morning, I was just feeling feverish and having body malaise which made me take a two-day off from work! I consulted the doctor and he told me that the cause of this is not due to any infection or bacteria at all, which I initially suspected, but rather simply because of stress! This is definitely some sort of wake up call. Indeed, having a work-life balance should definitely be considered for long-term health improvement.

  2. Jonathan Lee

    I know that it may be wrong to say this, but sometimes it is just inevitable to take a leave from work and the reason varies for each person and situation. Some might say that they are trying to accumulate all their available work leaves because they want to have a longer vacation time when they have some special occasion to spend with the family or some would say they just can’t take a day off since there is too much work to be left behind and they wouldn’t want it to pile up. Sometimes they say that they can’t afford to miss work because of the tough times caused by economic difficulties as well.

  3. Chris

    With modern technology people tends to be stuck at home playing video games and watching movies. The result was really alarming, I’m one of guilty people doing this. I rather watch movies rather than going out and meeting my friends. Our body needs to use its energy we intake daily, a simple walk to a friend’s house can contribute to our daily activity and stored energy will be use. People who stays at home may develop health problems such as obesity and worst heart problem. As we aged more we should actively increase our mobility and physical activities. When I’m going to supermarket or café, I tend to use my bike or walk to increase my physical activities and use my stored energy.

  4. Nilson

    Great article, it advised us that being a workaholic is a bad habit to do. If you are not feeling well, you should take a leave and rest to gain more energy so you will be able to work as soon as possible. Don’t push yourself to its limit because it can cause more trouble at your body and you will able to have a long time leave. Make some time for yourself and for your family or loved ones you. Don’t be a workaholic. If you are really a workaholic you should take some supplements to boost your energy as well as your immune system so you won’t able to have any sickness.

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