From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Is Presenteeism a Problem Ergonomics Can Solve?

Your back hurts or your head pounds. Maybe you’re so tired that you can’t focus on the fine details of the task.  But call in sick?  No, no. Whatever it is, it will pass, you’re not really sick, just not feeling right. You’re a trooper, a champ, tough. You might need those sick days later.  Anyway, it’s just not like you to spend the day lying on the couch when you’ll just be sitting around feeling guilty about not being at work.


Sound familiar?  Experts indicate that even if it isn’t you, it probably is someone you know. They also have a term for spending the day at work when you’re not at your peak, or even close: presenteeism.  According to research, in any given period, one in eight workers has presenteeism and its costs are considerably more than if those workers just simply stayed at home.


Why It Matters

Ever have a long-needed day off, get a cold and spend the day attending to the headache and burning eyes rather than attending to work around the house?  The same thing happens at the workplace

This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2005-03-16.