Health risks strongly influence productivity
To determine whether changes in health risks are associated with self-reported changes in at-work productivity loss (presenteeism).
7,026 employees from a large US financial services company who completed two health risk appraisals (HRAs) between 2002 and 2004.
Data from the first and second HRA were used to compare health risk status with self-reported presenteeism. After the first HRA, 66.7% of participants were low risk, 23.0% medium and 10.3% high risk. At the second HRA, this shifted to 64.6%, 24.4%, and 11.0%, respectively.
- Analysis showed that employees who increased their risk status, or stayed high risk, had greater productivity losses than those who remained at low risk or dropped a risk category.
- A total of 55% of individuals who were classified as low risk by the first HRA remained low risk according to the second HRA, with their productivity loss decreasing by 1.1% over this period.
- However, excess productivity loss increased by 8.1% for 1.5% of employees who moved from low to high risk over the assessment period.
What does this mean?
Changes in self-reported health risks, whether positive or negative, are strongly associated with changes in self-reported productivity at work. Here, the yearly cost of lost productivity relating to risk increase was estimated at US$950 per risk factor increase.