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Latest figures show that workers who pedal or walk to work are less likely to claim for illness benefits

A study based on the commutation habits of Irish people have found that workers who travel to their work places by car or other vehicles are more likely to apply for illness benefits.

On the other hand, workers who pedal or walk their way to work have less chances of getting ill. These are the results of a study conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The CSO’s Illness Benefits: Employment and Commuting Analysis for 2016/2017 examined commuting and employment data for people who received illness or injury benefit in the year following the 2016 Census. 

The aftermath of the study revealed that commuting can have a negative effect on health levels if the person is using an automobile medium instead of walking, and where exposure to pollution is increased by commuting.

By looking into a review period of 12 months following the census study, 80 in every 1000 employees made a claim for illness benefit.

Around 15 employees claimed for illness benefits more than once. Some nine employees claimed benefits for six months or longer.

Most of these claims were made by workers who use modes of transportation like car or other passenger vehicles. The group who drove their way to work were the highest to make claims.

Some 86 in every 1,000 workers who traveled to work as a passenger in a car applied for illness benefit. 

The numbers are very low while looking into the stats of the workers who used cycles or walked their way to work places.

44 out of 1000 in every cycling workers applied for illness benefit while 63 in 1000 workers who walked to work also applied for the same.

Above average illness benefit rate were recorded for those who leave for work before 8am and 101 per 1000, the highest rate was recorded for those who left their home before 6.30am.

The study also noticed that employees who earns higher salaries were less likely to be in eligible for illness benefits.

CSO statistician Kieran said that the occupations and economic sectors of workers who received illness benefit is reflected in the earnings data, with below average illness benefit rates among higher earners.

“The rate of illness benefit is above the average of 80 per 1,000 employees for all annual earnings up to €60,000, with the highest rate of 103 for those earning between €30,000 and €50,000. Workers earning more than €70,000 a year had the lowest illness benefit rate of 43 per 1,000 employees,” he added.

“Illness benefit rate was highest for people who worked in the public administration & defence and health & social work sectors of the economy at 132 per 1,000 employees and lowest for those working in Information & Communication activities at 38 per 1,000 employees.” He said.

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