64 million workdays a year lost
British workers skip 64 million days a year because of allergies, according to new figures, costing as much as £6 billion.
Those living in cities suffer most with allergic reactions, suggesting higher levels of pollution and toxins and less chance to build up immunities.
But it is also felt that many people do not bother to treat their allergies constantly. For instance those who suffer every summer forget to renew their prescriptions until they are affected, rather than do it as a prevention.
In London, for example, 16% of adults have missed five days or more off work in the past year because of their allergies, said the study by website TheChemist.co.uk. Across Britain, one in five workers have taken time off for allergies, the equivalent of 245,000 on any single working day, said the research which surveyed 1,000 adults.
Men are more prone than women to react to an allergy, taking an average of 2.43 days a year off sick compared to just 0.85 days a year for the average female. And almost one in five of all men have missed five days a year or more in a single year compared to a mere 4% of women.
Mike Rudin, managing director of TheChemist.co.uk, said: ‘Allergies are seen by many people as minor ailments, especially those who don’t suffer from them. They can be very debilitating for sufferers, and our research shows just how much this can affect people’s working lives, and therefore the economy.
‘People lead very busy lives nowadays which often cause them to neglect the treatment of their allergies, despite the fact that they might need the same medication every year.’