Health-related choices made at home effect productivity on the job and the number of sick days taken by employees, according to a new study published online September 27, 2010 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine
. Researchers studied the lifestyle habits of 10,624 workers from 49 companies in the Netherlands during the period of 2005 to 2009. The participants answered an online questionnaire that required them to rate their work productivity on a 10-point scale during their most recent workday and the number of sick days they took during the previous 12 months. Additionally, subjects answered questions regarding their physical activity level, smoking and alcohol habits, and fruit and vegetable consumption. Body weight and height were collected from the questionnaire as well.
The researchers reported the following findings:
- Obesity, low levels of activity, and smoking were associated with a greater number of sick days.
- Obesity, smoking, and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables were linked to a decrease in job productivity.
The investigators concluded that lifestyle behaviors and obesity account for more than 10 percent of sick leave and decreased work productivity. They suggest that primary interventions targeting lifestyle choices may maintain a productive workforce.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
; September 27, 2010; "The Role of Obesity and Lifestyle Behaviours in a Productive Workforce"; Suzan J W Robroek et al.,.
Labels: exercise, job productivity, lifestyle behaviors, obesity, sick leave, smoking