Lower quality of life and more work-loss days for the workforce are barriers for economic development in Bangladesh. Using nationally representative data—the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys for the 2004–2007 period, we examined the prevalence of diseases (asthma, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, jaundice/hepatitis, malaria/fever, tuberculosis, and other) that prevented ever-married male workers from doing their regular activities in Bangladesh, and we examined changes in partial work-loss free life expectancy (WLFLE). The study found improvements in the mean number of work-loss days as well as in WLFLE; male workers at age 30 in 2007 expected 212 days more WLFLE than male workers of the same age in 2004. Other diseases prevented 17.8 per cent of male workers in 2004 and 9.1 per cent of male workers in 2007 from doing their normal work. Malaria/fever prevented 14.4 per cent and 11.5 per cent of male workers in 2004 and 2007, respectively, from doing their normal work. In both years, of all the diseases, the other diseases category and malaria/fever were found to be the major causes preventing Bangladeshi male workers from doing their normal work. This study recommends taking action against malaria/fever so that people can continue working without health problems or illness, and it recommends identifying other diseases which cause work-loss days. It suggests collecting data for both the males and females in a consistent manner by keeping the same questions with the same wording, order, and age groups consistent over time.