Sick Day? Most Americans Work Through The Sniffles : Shots - Health News Nearly three-quarters of Americans said they went to work sick in the last year, according to a survey that queried more than 3,000 people early this month. The top reason: lost wages.
NPR logo Sick Day? Most Americans Work Through The Sniffles

Sick Day? Most Americans Work Through The Sniffles

Don't be this guy, please. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Don't be this guy, please.

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Be honest. Who among you hasn't gone to work when you really should have stayed home sick?

We wondered who goes to work anyway and why, and the survey team at Thomson Reuters' health unit agreed to help us find out.

The bottom line: Nearly three-quarters of Americans said they went to work sick in the last year, according to a survey that queried more than 3,000 people early this month.

The top reason among all respondents — at 25 percent — was that staying home meant not being paid.

But slicing the data by the income of the worker shows a big difference. For people making less than $25,000 a year, 55 percent said lost income was the reason they clocked in anyway.

By comparison, only 6 percent of folks making $100,000 or more cited lost pay as a reason to go to work. For them, the top reason — at 28 percent — not to stay home was that they weren't sick enough. Close behind though were "work ethic," at 25 percent, and "workload" at 24 percent.

So, basically, you well-heeled workaholics need to give it a rest and stay home instead of infecting the rest of us.

Thomson Reuters says the margin for error on the questions is plus or minus 1.8 percent.

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