Do you force yourself into work when you have a cold? The growing trend for presenteeism is taking a toll on our wellbeing, reveals recent research.

In 2016, coughs and colds were the most common reason for sickness absence in the UK, accounting for approximately 34 million days lost.

Now they’re the reason for just 33 per cent of sick days according to latest figures.

Increased presenteeism is also associated with increases in reported common mental health conditions and stress-related absence, which are among the top causes of long-term sickness absence, shows a 2018 survey.

The risk of infection

95 per cent of people exposed to a rhinovirus strain they have not met before become infected, and 75 per cent of those will get ill*.

Save yourself!

When family or colleagues are sniffling around you, try A.Vogel Echinaforce (from £4.50; to help prevent infection.

Research from the Common Cold Centre shows echinacea reduces the development of recurrent colds by 59 per cent, and reduces symptoms of cold episodes, cutting the need for painkillers by 52 per cent.

It particularly benefits those with high stress levels; people who sleep badly and those prone to more than two colds per year.

Taken over a four-month winter period, echinacea purpurea extract has a high safety profile.

3 of the best cold solutions

  • Black elderberry extract is shown to substantially reduce the severity and duration of symptoms of flu, more so than those of colds.
  • A.Vogel Echinaforce Hot Drink (£10.99 for 100ml; combines echinacea and black elderberry to fight cold and flu symptoms.
  • Taking a couple of naps may counteract the immune-suppressing impact of poor sleep. Have a doze!

Recover well

Alison Cullen, nutritional therapist  and education manager at A.Vogel gives her advice.

‘Don’t forget aftercare! Your initial symptoms may have subsided, but your respiratory tract tissue will be vulnerable to further infections until it’s had time to heal.

‘Carry on taking your remedies and getting extra rest and sleep for a few more days. Focus on nutrient-rich fruit and veg, containing the vitamin C you need to heal the connective tissue in the respiratory tract.’

* McCoy L. The Science Creative Quarterly, 20.8.2006