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You can explain the effect of writing about life goals that way, but writing about emotional trauma's has the same effect, so it doesn't seem like this effect is caused by optimistic people not taking sick days.

But in general I agree that it would be useful to develop a better metric than sick days.

The point is that feeling better is not the same thing as actually being more healthy in the sense of being less able to spread disease, not having one's productivity affected, etc. The effect of writing doesn't have to be caused by optimism in order for this to apply.
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