Wimpy IT workers called Barry from Scotland or the North of England are set to be the most likely to be struck by ‘man flu’ this winter, according to a nationwide survey of women quizzed about their men’s sickness records.
The Fishermen’s Friend Blackcurrant survey of more than 3,000 women nationwide found that the typical British bloke takes an average of four days off a year with cold and mild flu symptoms – twice as many as women – costing British industry an estimated £4 billion*.
Yet despite suspicions that their men are exaggerating their illness, one in three women will wait on their man hand and foot when he claims to have ‘man flu’, while one out of five will happily pick up the phone to tell his boss he’s too sick to work. One out of 10 women even takes time off to nurse their man better whenever he is ill.
However, it seems women are also happy to get their own back with one in three forcing their partner to take time off in revenge when they are ill themselves, further adding to the burden to industry.
According to the survey, blokes called Barry, Dave and Brian – traditionally all good burly blokes names – were found to be most likely to go down with ‘man flu’, while men called Alan, Andrew and James are among those least likely to complain of the legendary condition.
Overall, three out of five women claimed their man only had to show symptoms of a light cold, runny nose or headache to claim ‘man flu’ status and take time off work.
A Fisherman’s Friend spokesman laughs: “Man Flu is fairly recent phenomenon that has emerged alongside the ‘metrosexual’ male. When Fisherman’s Friend lozenges were created in 1865 for the fishermen to help relieve the extreme conditions on their long voyages, men were real men. They wouldn’t have got their wives to call their captains to excuse them from their voyages because of a runny nose! Our motto is ‘the strongest there is’, something all these IT Barrys should take note of!”
But it seems that women are quite happy for their blokes to show their sensitive side. Two out three quizzed said a man who could show his vulnerability and express his emotions was a real turn on – and a third said it was important that a man can openly cry.
Meanwhile, women believe Gordon Ramsay, Vinnie Jones and Russell Crowe would be among the celebrities least likely to complain of having ‘man flu’, while they thought Pete Doherty, Dean Gaffney and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo would be among the first to play the sympathy card at the sign of the first sniffle.
David Beckham and Brad Pitt topped the list of hunky celebs that women would most like to nurse better, while lotharios Danny Cipirani, Steve Jones and Brendan Cole were among those given the cold shoulder by the women polled, as was England footballing hero Theo Walcott.
TOP FIVE ‘MAN FLU’ NAMES:
TOP FIVE ‘HEALTHY’ NAMES:
TOP FIVE ‘MAN FLU’ PROFESSIONS:
TOP FIVE ‘MAN FLU’ REGIONS:
YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE
LEAST LIKELY ‘MAN FLU’ CELEBRITIES:
MOST LIKELY ‘MAN FLU’ CELEBRITIES:
LUKE MARSDEN (BIG BROTHER 9)
MOST NURSEABLE CELEBRITIES:
LEAST NURSEABLE CELEBRITIES:
* CBI / AXA Absence Survey 2008
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