Work stress causes employees to call in sick

Increased workload, problems with co-workers leads to stress

Work stress causes employees to take sick days, even if they aren’t physically sick, according to a study from Sweden.

Employees are more likely to take sick leave in the days following a stressful event or before an anticipated stressful day at work, found the study, published in the online journal BMC Public Health.

The researchers interviewed 1,430 employees in Sweden about their stress levels and problems at work before and after they got sick. Participants were asked about their personal experiences with discrimination, bullying, harassment and uncomfortable tasks.

The likelihood employees would take sick days was 4.68 times higher when they felt exposed to problems with colleagues and 3.63 times higher when they had problems with a superior.

Employees who were anticipating a "very stressful work situation," such as increased workload were 2.27 times more likely to call in sick that day, found the study.

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