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Have you taken any time off work sick this year?

Workers are taking fewer days off sick, with a record 45% having no days off ill at all in 2010, according to research today.

A study by the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) and Westfield Health revealed a steady fall in sickness absence over the past three years, with the average employee taking five days off in 2010 compared with 6.7 days in 2007.

The state of the economy may have played a part in the figures, but the report said the trend started before the recession.

The survey of more than 450 firms found that back pain and other muscular problems remained the main cause of short-term sickness absence last year.