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Workers With Paid Sick Days Healthier, More Productive: Study
Date:8/1/2012

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Employees with paid sick leave are healthier than other workers who do not have this benefit, new study findings suggest.

According to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workers with paid sick leave are 28 percent less likely to suffer nonfatal work-related injuries.

In addition, the researchers noted that those with jobs in high-risk industries, such as construction, manufacturing and health care, who often suffer from pain, sprains, fractures and chronic injuries, gain the most from this benefit.

"This study highlights how our work lives and our personal health are intertwined," the institute's director, Dr. John Howard, said in a CDC news release. "This concept of total worker health, which involves creating an environment of well-being both at home and at work, is an important aspect of the American economy, as we depend on able and productive workers."

In conducting the study, the researchers examined national survey data collected between 2005 and 2008 on 38,000 workers in the private sector. The investigators found that health care workers and technicians who did not have paid sick leave were 18 percent more likely to suffer a nonfatal work-related injury than their peers with similar jobs who did have access to paid sick leave.

The study also found that construction workers without paid sick leave were 21 percent more likely to sustain a nonfatal work-related injury than construction workers who did have this benefit.

If sick or stressed workers are not able to take time off from work, they may be at greater risk for injuries, the study authors warned. Previous studies have reported that sleep deprivation, fatigue and certain medications may contribute to nonfatal workplace injuries, they added.

"Many workers may feel pressured to work while they are sick, out of
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