Super Bowl Sidelines Some Workers on Day After Game

By Kathy Gurchiek Feb 1, 2008

It’s the day after Super Bowl XLII—do you know where your employees are?

Chances are a certain percentage called in sick or trailed into work late, victims of the malady called “Super Bowlitis.”

An estimated 1.5 million workers might stay home from work for Super Bowl-related reasons on Feb. 4, according to findings from a new survey of 1,430 full-time workers in the United States conducted in January 2008.

Another 3 percent of those surveyed, or an estimated 4.4 million workers, might be late to work today—a number that admit to doing this in previous years, according to the survey, Super Bowl Fever Sidelines Employees on Monday Morning, sponsored by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc.

Three percent also said they have called in sick to work the Monday after the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl was the highest-rated TV show in the nation in 2007, according to the Nielsen Co., attracting more than 93 million TV viewers in a faceoff that the Indianapolis Colts won against the Chicago Bears.

One factor the survey did not look at was the number of people who might be absent from work to attend a parade in honor of their team the Tuesday after the Super Bowl.

New York City is planning a victory parade for Feb. 5 starting at 11 a.m. if the Giants beat the New England Patriots, followed by a 1 p.m. ceremony at City Hall Plaza.

Boston also must hold a parade that day if the Patriots win, Boston Mayer Tom Menino said, Super Bowl News reported.

While some workers may be absent or late because of the previous night’s revelry—Hallmark Cards Inc. says Super Bowl Sunday is the second-biggest party and food-consumption day of the year—some over-excited fans might have found themselves in the emergency room.

A report in the Jan. 31, 2008, New England Journal of Medicineby German researchers who looked at the health effects of World Cup soccer matches on fans suggests that intense sports events can be hazardous to the health of those with acute heart conditions.

Employers might also want to consider the demographics of their employee base.

Absences from work related to the big game could be particularly striking for employers with a high population of Generation X and Generation Y employees, according to the survey, which found that the majority of employed adults who say they may call in sick the day after the game are men and women between the ages of 18 and 34.

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News. She can be reached at


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