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"man Flu", Colds, Coming Into Work

Thundery wintry showers


I've seen quite a few debates on so-called "man flu" which is basically a swipe at men saying that they exaggerate how ill they are whereas women just "get on with it". I don't know how much truth there is behind this stereotype.

Basically we have two extreme positions in circulation- one being "I'll have a day off work if I'm even slightly ill, e.g. a few sniffles" and another being "It doesn't matter how ill you are, you should just get on with it and come into work through thick and thin". I suggest that both extremes do more harm than good.

I also think that it's too black and white, for instance, to try to encourage people with colds to come into work, because colds come in hugely differing degrees of severity. This weekend, I've had a headache, coughing and sneezing fits, sleep deprivation, sapped energy, asthmatic complications and a slight temperature. I don't think it's a good idea to encourage people to come into an office while suffering these symptoms- they genuinely do affect one's ability to work, just "getting on with it" can make it take longer to get over the symptoms, and the coughing and sneezing are the perfect recipe for spreading it around the entire office. But I never have qualms about coming into work while I have just sniffles- they don't have much of an effect on my ability to work, and as long as I wash my hands from time to time, I am unlikely to pass them around.

I suggest that a similar analysis applies to other illnesses- people should be expected to work through mild illnesses, but not pronounced ones.


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I am a woman but I object to the term Man Flu also. I hate any stereotypes as everyone is individual, I have seem many a woman stay off work with a cold claiming it is the flu. I think it is more about the way you were brought up than about any difference in the genders.

I am glad to hear someone with such a sensible attitude to colds and absence from work. Why wipe out the entire workforce by coming in with a really heavy cold? As you yourself know with asthma it can cause really nasty breathing problems with even a fairly mild cold, and a heavy one can bring on a life threatening astma attack in vulnerable people. I know the truth of this, my mother would be hospitalised twice a year regularly with severe and life threatening asthma attacks triggered by a cold virus turning to bronchitis.
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[quote]a cold virus [b]turning to bronchitis[/b][/quote]
It's somewhat fitting that you mention that- this had never happened to me before as far as I can remember, but today, I've been confirmed by the doctor as having a marked chest infection. My asthma is pretty mild so just mild treatment is normally enough to keep me above 85% of peak flow at all times, barring a heavy cold which might bring it down to 80% on occasion. But this morning it fell as low as 60%- so chest infections can cause symptoms to spiral even in mild cases.
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I read somewhere that women take more days off work ill on average than men, but regardless, your post is a good one. It's another example of everything in moderation, in this instance caution about health.
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I have bit of a cold at the moment, had it for bout 1 week.

I can still work and not 100% but don't need to be off work cause of it, have a laugh and joke with some colleges bout man flu.

I have asthma also so have to be careful in case it gets on to my chest.
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