Braving sickness and soldiering on ...

Aasma Day
Aasma Day

No matter how bad things get, you can always rely on the British to display a stiff upper lip and fortitude in the face of adversity.

It seems this resolute attitude is extending to being sick as one in four UK workers have admitted they would only take time off work if they were hospitalised and had no other choice.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Bravery or stupidity? Are they being caring towards their colleagues and bosses by not wanting to leave them in the lurch – or selfish by exposing them to all their germs?

When it’s a non-contagious illness or an injury, forcing yourself to turn into work can sometimes backfire as you can make yourself worse and need more time off in the long run.

The problem is life is so busy and demanding most of us simply don’t have time to be ill – so we soldier on without taking time off to recover.

Many of us – and I’m definitely guilty of this – have a “being sick is for wimps” mentality and seem to think dragging ourselves into work with sky high temperatures and suspected broken limbs is normal behaviour.

Pop singer Ed Sheeran was a prime example of braving on regardless this week after he crashed his bike but simply brushed himself off and cycled home instead of heading to hospital.

He even went to bed and it was only the following morning when he woke up in pain that he decided to get himself checked out only to discover he had a fractured wrist and elbow and cracked ribs leading to him cancelling a number of gigs.

While this sort of courage is admirable, there’s no bravery medal up for grabs so there’s no point putting your health at risk in the line of duty of because you think there aren’t enough hours in the day to be ill.

Perversely, there are those at the opposite end of the spectrum – those softies who dive under the duvet and ring in sick at the slightest excuse.

It does make me chuckle when I hear people calling in sick as whatever the ailment or injury, they feel the need to put on that pathetic and plaintive poorly voice – even if they’ve hurt their leg.

Then there are those who pull “sickies” when they fancy a day off work.

I have a rather shocking admission to make: I have never pulled a sickie in my life – either at work or during my school days.

Not because I am some sort of goody-goody swot, but I’ve never felt the need.

Anyway, I’m a terrible liar so don’t think I could perfect a hoarse and croaky “sick” voice.

A word of advice to those who pull sickies though – if you’re going to fake illness, don’t put photos of yourself on social media having a good time.

It has made me snigger to hear of those caught out enjoying a day at Alton Towers when they’re meant to be in bed with flu.

Thankfully, I seem to have a strong constitution and am hardly ever ill and can’t even remember the last time I needed a day off sick.

Sadly, there’s no reward for a stoic attitude to illness and having an impeccable sickness record.

All that happens is you end up being ill in your own time when you’re supposed to be on holiday.