Respiratory diseases: Increased sick leave due to colds

Respiratory diseases: Increased sick leave due to colds

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Every sixth day of absence due to colds

Last year it was reported that the flu wave caused the highest sick leave in years. But colds also caused numerous days off. In addition, many employees had to stay home from work due to back problems and mental illnesses.

Cold wave affects sick leave

Cough, runny nose, hoarseness: In the cold season it is not uncommon to catch a flu-like infection, the "simple" cold. The severity of the cold wave in winter also has a major impact on whether the sick leave in Germany's companies rises or falls. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) reports this in a current release.

Four out of ten sick leave for respiratory diseases

TK reports a slight increase in sick leave of 4.23 percent (+2.2 percent) for 2018. On average, working people were on sick leave for 15.5 days last year. According to the information, two and a half days were due to respiratory diseases.

"Traditionally, we have two waves of cold in winter - one in November and one in the second half of February," explained Albrecht Wehner, responsible for health reporting at TK.

“Absences mainly depend on how severe they are. In 2018, every sixth day of absence was due to runny nose, flu and the like. ”

According to TK, this corresponds to an increase of almost ten percent in respiratory diseases alone. As the message says, there would be more and longer sick leave.

Statistically speaking, almost four out of ten sick leave dates back to such a diagnosis in 2018. Each respiratory-related sick leave lasted an average of 6.6 days, 0.3 days longer than in the previous year.

There is little that can be done preventively

According to Wehner, preventive measures can only be taken to prevent respiratory diseases.

"Of course you can do a lot for your immune system with sport, for example," said the TK health expert.

"Hygiene measures also complicate the transmission pathways, but there is basically little that can be done about colds. But they have to be well cured. "

For self-treatment for flu and colds, it is important, among other things, to drink a lot and to rest. There are also many home remedies that help against cold symptoms.

Back and soul also cause high absenteeism

Prevention is easier for diseases that are lifestyle-related or work-related.

Mental disorders and musculoskeletal disorders are also among the main causes of absenteeism at 2.8 and 2.7 days, respectively.

Wehner believes employers and employees have a duty to deal with complaints that result from lack of exercise or are caused by stress:

"A lot can be avoided here with measures of occupational health management," said the expert.

“We now know that an unhealthy work culture also increases the risk of chronic diseases and long-term absences. This in turn results in high financial burdens for both the health system and the company itself. "

20 days off per person

Regionally, there were also significant differences in absenteeism last year. TK recorded the highest sick leave in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at 5.49 percent.

"This corresponds to an average of 20 days off per person, which is the first time we have hit 20 days a year in a federal state," explained Albrecht Wehner.

The absenteeism was also lowest in 2018 in Baden-Württemberg with an average of 12.7 days or sick leave of 3.48 percent.

"In a company with 1,000 employees last year, an average of 55 employees were missing every day in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and only 35 in Baden-Württemberg," said the expert. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: The Effects of Fasting on Infections (October 2022).