How Many Paid Sick Days Are Enough?

J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Jun;60(6):481-489. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001300.


Objective: This study analyzes the relationship between number of paid sick days and reported preventive health care service usage among older US workers.

Methods: Using a 2014 cross-section of 3235 US workers age 49 to 57 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this study is the first to measure paid sick leave as an ordinal variable in an effort to refine our understanding of sick leave, and identify the ideal range of sick days necessary for people to access preventive health care services.

Results: We find workers with 10 or more paid sick days have increased odds of reporting five different preventive health care services.

Conclusion: To support worker and public health, policy planners may want to consider the number of paid sick days that are needed before changes in preventive service use are observed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperglycemia / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*