Research reveals that the common cold could be costing the nation an average £157.37 per day – that is a whopping £42.3 billion a year collectively, and could mean an average personal cost of £54 per cold.
The survey of 3,000 people assessed the average Briton’s attitude and management of a cold. It took into account the amount of money we spend on cough and cold remedies, painkillers and added comforts such as hot baths, food and entertainment to help make us feel better when we fall victim to the common cold.
Alison Steed, a financial expert, said, “It’s shocking that something as common as a cold can burn such a large hole in our pockets – leaving us financially worse off by as much as £54 per day, not to mention the overall cost to the economy. But besides the financial cost, no-one wants to be out of action with a cold in any case. So you should try to keep yourself healthy, and make sure you are doing everything you can to either protect yourself from catching a cold, or avoid the possibility in the first place.”
The cost of staying at home
The results showed that 71% of Brits surveyed would stay at home for one day to get over a cold to avoid causing the spread of germs in the workplace. A day home from the office might relieve the temptation to splurge on lunch or buy a round after work but the survey has revealed staying at home is just as, or even more expensive, given the accumulative cost of all the products purchased and the facilities used to relieve the symptoms of a cold.
- 76% spend money on food such as soup and fruit
- 32% prefer comfort food such as biscuits, chocolate and takeaways
- 22% will turn the heating up
- 15% will soak themselves in a bubble bath
- 13% will surf the internet, chat on the phone or watch TV
- 14% stack up on magazines
- And over one fifth (21%) admitted they would buy wine or whiskey to help relieve their cold symptoms.
The potential cost of a cold to the economy
Sixty two per cent of Brits also think a cold can halve their productivity, which is bad news for businesses. Furthermore, if 71% of the current residential population (est 61,383,000 ) take at least one day off work, and with the average daily wage estimated at £95.80 , there could be a potential loss of £42,339,538,000 per year on sick days taken due to a cold. This comes at a huge cost to the economy, especially as it is estimated that adults catch an average of two to four colds a year.
The survey was conducted by Vick’s First Defence Micro-Gel Nasal Spray.