Why You Should Take Your Sick Days

It’s the middle of cold and flu season, and your coworkers are dropping like flies. But they’re still filing into the office, leaving a trail of used tissues and cold remedy wrappers in their wake. Why aren’t they calling in sick?

A shocking 60 percent of American employees feel uncomfortable taking time off when they’re feeling ill, or for wellness-related checkups. But companies factor those days into your benefits package for a reason—a healthy employee is a productive employee! Here are four reasons why you might consider using a sick day the next time you’re hit with a bug or need to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

You’ll recover faster. Rest and liquids are great ways to treat your sickness. Read a book, make some hot tea and soup, draw a warm bath with essential oils or Epsom salt, or close your eyes and simply relax for a bit.

Your co-workers won’t get sick. When you bring your illness to work, it’s very likely your colleagues will catch it too—the flu is contagious from as little as 6 feet away! If you wake up with any symptoms, do your office mates a favor and stay home.

You’ll reduce company costs. Being sick at work likely won’t help with your productivity levels, and will ultimately affect your employer’s bottom line. A study published in the journal of Population Health Management reports work losses related to health issues costs companies up to $260 billion a year, and for some, there may be additional medical expenditures. By taking the day off to recuperate, you’re benefiting both the company and yourself.

You’ll be healthier overall. Even if you’re not down with a fever, you might consider taking a sick day to visit your primary care physician or to schedule other preventive care appointments, like a dental check-up, an OB-GYN visit, or an eye exam. In fact, some companies are recognizing the potential benefits of incorporating an Unsick Day, or a paid day off that encourages employees to attend wellness-related appointments, into their time-off plans.


Looking to step it up? Learn how Fitbit Group Health can help your company develop a corporate wellness program.

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