Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

Why you shouldn't go to work sick

Editor's note: Dr. Jennifer Shu, CNNHealth's Living Well expert doctor, is a practicing pediatrician and mother of two.

(CNN) -- The average adult gets a cold about two or three times a year, with each one lasting up to a week, or sometimes longer.

Staying home from work every time you are sick could add up to a lot of missed days. In fact, it has been reported that up to 40% of lost time from work is due to the common cold, totaling about 23 million missed days per year.

Even though it can be tempting to go to work while you're sick, here are some reasons why you are better off staying home:

You'll get other people sick

Germs can spread from direct contact with a sick person or his or her secretions (such as from handshakes or touching shared objects like doorknobs). Some viruses can live on the skin or other surfaces for at least a few hours and continue to infect others.

In addition, viruses can spray a few feet following a cough or sneeze. Especially in the earliest part of illness, when you are most contagious, stay home if you work in close quarters with other people or if you handle food.

It's also important not to go to work if you work with young children, the elderly or people with weak immune systems. The relatively minor illness you experience may cause more severe symptoms in these groups of people.

 

You'll be less productive

It is hard to know the exact financial and physical toll that an illness takes on an individual or employer. Sure, you'll be more productive than if you stayed home and didn't do any work at all, but you may not be as sharp or efficient when suffering from a cold.

It may take longer to recover

Pushing yourself and working too much in the early stages of illness may actually prolong your recovery time. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds.

Conversely, getting enough sleep can boost infection-fighting cells and antibodies so you can get well faster. Do yourself a favor and stay home and rest.

Ideally, we would all be able to rest and recuperate during a cold. If that's not possible, see if you can work from home so at least you won't spread your germs.

If you must go to work, try to keep your distance from others, wash or sanitize your hands often, and cover coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or elbow. You can also cover with a tissue but be sure to throw it away immediately and then wash your hands.

Disinfect touched objects such as phones, doorknobs, and computer keyboards, and consider avoiding sharing items such as pens.

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/24/health/work-sick-flu-shu/index.html?hpt=he_c2

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
CEBS
Media Relations
Academic Affairs
Augenstein Alumni Center
Instruments of American Excellence
Transportation
Emergency Preparedness
Police
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Library News
Office of Sustainability
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Ogden News
PCAL
WKU Greeks News
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Parent's Association
Student Activities and Organizations
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Government Association News
Van Meter Auditorium
Teaching News
The Symphony at WKU
Study Abroad
Student Research Council
Student Employment
WKU Joint Admissions
International Student Office
Human Resources News
Cultural Enhancement Series
CHHS News
The Confucius Institute
Campus Activities Board
GFCB
WellU
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing University Center
Health Services
Hardin Planetarium
News from The Center for Gifted Studies
Student Financial Assistance
Downing Museum
Etown & Fort Knox
Facilities
Employee Wellness
Latest Headlines
Juicing: Healthy Detox or Diet Trap?

(CNN) -- Juicing -- if you believe its avid fans -- is a great way to detox the body, prevent disease and lose weight.

6 Fitness Myths Busted (and 3 Surprising Facts!)

Are you killing it in the gym but not seeing results? Chances are, you've fallen victim to bad advic

Order Your Parking Permit Online Now!

Order by July 15th to be eligible for a prize giveaway!

Featured Articles
 Last Modified 7/23/13