Workers Taking the Most Sick Days

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14. Physicians
> Number of days missed: 0.24
> Cost of lost productivity: $250 million
> Unhealthy weight or chronic health condition: 67.9%
> Job types: Internist, obstetrician, anesthesiologist

Physicians miss fewer days of work due to illness than any other profession. Witters noted that doctors have a great deal of responsibility to their patients, making it very difficult for them to miss work. Physicians also tend to be in better health than any other profession. Less than 68% of doctors are considered above average weight or have a chronic health condition, by far the lowest percentage among the professions surveyed. This is likely in part because doctors have, according to Gallup-Healthways, the best health habits. For instance, less than 4% of doctors smoke, compared to more than 20% of people in all professions measured.

Also Read: States Where Teenagers Cannot Find Work

13. Farmers, Foresters, Fishers
> Number of days missed: 0.25
> Cost of lost productivity: $160 million
> Unhealthy weight or chronic health condition: 78.8%
> Job types: Fishermen, lumberjacks, farmers

Workers in agriculture, fishing and forestry are among the most emotionally healthy in the nation. Only one other occupation, physicians, ranked higher. An estimated 93% of farm workers said they felt treated with respect, and less than 28% said they felt stressed the day before. However, they appear to be one of the least physically groups, with 16% stating they had health problems that prevented them from doing age-appropriate activities, second only to service workers. However, on average, farmers missed very few days of work a year, potentially in part due to the constant attention they must give to their crops and livestock.

12. Construction or Mining
> Number of days missed: 0.28
> Cost of lost productivity: $1.3 billion
> Unhealthy weight or chronic health condition: 80.5%
> Job types: Carpenter, plumber, miner

Construction and mining workers tend to have worse health than most professions. An 80.5% of such workers have an unhealthy weight or chronic health condition. A mere 61.2% of construction and mining workers indicated they have health insurance, the lowest percentage in the country, perhaps exacerbating some of their problems. Nevertheless, they are expected to come to work even when they are sick, Witters said, perhaps explaining the few sick days off they take a year.

11. Installation/Repair
> Number of days missed: 0.35 (tied for 10th highest)
> Cost of lost productivity: $1.5 billion
> Unhealthy weight or chronic health condition: 83.0%
> Job types: Mechanic, linesman, maintenance worker

Like construction workers, installation and repair workers tend to miss fewer days of work due to illness compared to other professions despite being in generally poorer health. Installation workers tend to have higher rates of recurring pain than most other professions. The profession was one of just two where more than 30% of employees indicated they had neck or back problems that caused recurring pain in the past 12 months. Moreover, about 23.6% said they had leg or knee problems that caused recurring pain in a 12-month span, more than all other professions except for farmers, foresters and fishers.

10. Sales
> Number of days missed: 0.35 (tied for 10th highest)
> Cost of lost productivity: $6.8 billion
> Unhealthy weight or chronic health condition: 75.2%
> Job types: Sales agent, manufacturer’s representative, clerk

Sales workers are among the least satisfied with their jobs, but that does not stop them from missing fewer days than the majority of the occupations measured. The average sales worker is less likely to engage in healthy behavior than the average American. They were the least likely to eat healthy all day and less likely to get exercise than most other professions. However, they are actually one of the healthier professions measured. They have below-average obesity and are less likely to have chronic pain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.