May 14, 2013 Posted by: Liann Walborsky
How often do you call in sick? Once a month? Once a quarter? Sick days cost companies quite a bit – both in terms of efficiency and actual dollars (approximately $84 billion per year according to some statistics). And, it appears that certain industries (and professions) are more prone to frequent sick days than others.
Although you would think doctors would be more susceptible to illness due to their proximity to flu-ridden, sniffling, coughing patients, they actually take the fewest days per year (once every four months). This could have something to do with the fact that doctors, as a whole, tend to have better health habits than other professionals. For example, fewer than 4% of doctors smoke cigarettes.
There does appear to be some correlation between sick days and whether a worker is salaried or not. For example, those who work in the farming, forestry or fishing industries tend to report poorer health overall, but rarely miss work — probably due to constant demands from livestock, climate changes, etc. On the other hand, nurses and clerical workers tend to report above average health overall, yet call in sick more frequently.
A worker’s job and responsibilities also indicate what kind of financial hit a company experiences with days out of the office. Managers and executives don’t tend to call in sick very often, but when they do, it is a bigger cost to a company — a whopping $15.7 billion in 2012 alone. And, on a daily basis, these workers tend to report higher blood pressure (more than any other profession other than those who work in the transportation industry).
Teachers report being in better health than other professions and profess a daily enjoyment for their jobs (also higher than most workers). They do tend to take more sick days than other workers, perhaps based on time spent around sick kids. In addition, because they can use a substitute, staying at home becomes more manageable.
The service industry (waiters, bartenders, landscapers) boasts the highest frequency of days out, with one every two months. With low wages and difficult work environments, it’s no wonder that these workers get sick more often and report the lowest physical health scores overall.
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