Rising sickness reports: Cold wave causes more and more days off

Rising sickness reports: Cold wave causes more and more days off

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Sick leave increases: Number of days absent due to colds increased significantly

German employees were sick more often last year than in the previous year. The cold wave in particular has caused more days off. However, most sickness reports were again due to diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Rising sick leave for German workers

In the previous year, the highest number of sick leave was reported in 20 years. In 2017, Germany's workers reported sick even more often. According to a current evaluation of the DAK health, the sick leave rose from 3.9 to 4.1 percent. The cold wave was largely to blame for the fact that there were more days off. But diseases of the musculoskeletal system have also increased.

Number of days off due to colds increased

As the health insurance company reports, respiratory illnesses were a problem for Germans last year: the number of days off due to colds rose by nine percent compared to the previous year.

However, failures due to mental illness rose only slightly - by almost 1.5 percent.

More than half of all days of incapacity to work (53.9 percent) were accounted for by three diagnostic groups:

The most common reason for absenteeism was musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain. This caused more than every fifth day of absence (21.8 percent).

Every second working person was reported sick at least once

Absenteeism due to mental illness followed in second place with a share of 16.7 percent and respiratory diseases in third place with 15.4 percent.

Respiratory diseases such as cough and runny nose caused around 230 absenteeism days in 2017 - based on 100 employed insured persons at DAK-Gesundheit, 18 days more than in 2016.

Around every second working person nationwide was on sick leave at least once in 2017 (48.6 percent).

Women more often on sick leave

A look at the sexes shows that sickness rates among women rose more than among their male colleagues. Their sick leave rate was 4.4 percent in 2017; in men at 3.8 percent.

In some professions you tend to get sick

But which occupational groups are most often sick?

The industries with the highest sick leave in 2017 were transport, storage and courier services with 4.8 percent and healthcare with 4.7 percent.

Data processing and information services had the lowest sick leave rate at 2.8 percent.

For the analysis of sick leave, the data of around 2.5 million employed insured persons of the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit were evaluated by the IGES Institute in Berlin. (ad)

Author and source information

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