Effects of work-site health promotion on illness-related absenteeism

Robert W Jeffery, Jean Forster, Bonny V. Dunn, Simone A French, Paul G. McGovern, Harry A Lando

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48 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of work-site health promotion on employee absenteeism. Thirty-two work sites were randomized to programs for weight control and smoking cessation or to no treatment for 2 years. The prevalence of self-reported absences from work was assessed at baseline and follow-up. Results using work site as the unit of analysis showed a net reduction in the percent of workers reporting a sick day in the last month in treatment versus control work sites of 3.7% (P =.04) and 3.4% (P =.06) in cross-sectional and cohort analysis, respectively. Further analyses found that the rate of participation in smoking (P =.09) but not weight programs (P =.72) was positively associated with change in sick day prevalence and that this effect was strongest in baseline smokers (P =.002). It is concluded that work-site smoking cessation programs may yield important short-term economic benefits by reducing employee absenteeism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1142-1146
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1993


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