Are you the subject of ridicule for your fantasy football addiction? Well, throw off the shackles of that guilt! Fantasy football doesn't waste your time at work, according to research from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

An estimated 27.1 million Americans take part in fantasy sports, with 75 percent, or more than 20 million, playing fantasy football. Challenger analyzed the financial impact of Fantasy Football on employers during the 2010 season and found little or no effect on productivity.

Ranking the level of distraction on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no problem, nearly 70 percent of employers said 4 or lower (perhaps because bosses themselves have teams). Less than 8 percent of respondents said the level of distraction rated a 7 or 8 and none of the respondents felt fantasy football at work deserved a 9 or 10.

Even better news for fantasy geeks: 46.2 percent of employers don't care if employees spend some of the workday on fantasy football. Less than a quarter of bosses ask employees to limit fantasy football to lunch and other break times.

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"A ban on all fantasy football or sports websites could backfire in the form of reduced morale and loyalty," Challenger concluded. "The result could be far worse than the loss of productivity caused by 10 to 20 minutes of team management each day."

But wait, there's more! Businesses that actually encourage playing fantasy football by organizing a company league are likely to see significant benefits in morale as well as productivity, according to the study.

Despite the positive results of the survey, less than 8 percent of responding companies actually "embrace" fantasy football participation as morale boosting.

But hey, give it time.

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