An old wartime poster from the days when flu was still a killer

Over half of health-obsessed Brits cover up symptoms from their doctors and take more sick days than the rest of the population, new figures have revealed.

According to the study of 3,000 consumers, commissioned by Clarity Informatics, consumers who spend over an hour researching their illnesses online resulted in additional sick leave in 2015], costing UK businesses a grand total of £1.1 billion.

“With all the information available online, it’s easy to see why over a quarter of us classify ourselves in this way, spending an hour or more researching illnesses online,” commented Dr Gerry Morrow, medical director at Clarity Informatics. “But there is currently no trustworthy source of healthcare information online – even ‘reputable’ sources are often run by hobbyist enthusiasts.”

UK consumers also admitted to going to work whilst still poorly, infecting colleagues and costing firms a further £360 million in additional sick leave.

London is the most health-obsessed city in the UK, with nearly 44 percent of adults confessing to spending an hour or more researching their symptoms online. Cardiff and Norwich come in second (40.32 percent) and third (39.73 percent), respectively. The top 5 health obsessed UK cities are as follows:

  1. London (43.69 percent)
  2. Cardiff (40.32 percent)
  3. Norwich (39.73 percent)
  4. Edinburgh (38.30 percent)
  5. Birmingham (37.58 percent)





Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.