Heart beat: Working while sick

Heart beat

Working while sick

Every workplace has its legendary iron men and women — workers who never take a day off even when they are sick enough to warrant staying home. Their dedication, while laudable, isn't so good for their co-workers, who are exposed to their germs. It isn't so good for themselves, either.

In a long-running study of more than 5,000 British men, all civil servants, almost one in five "unhealthy" workers who could have taken some sick time were not absent at all over a three-year period. Penny-wise, but pound-foolish — the no-absence workers were twice as likely to have had a heart attack or died from heart disease during this relatively brief span as those who took some sick time.

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