Health risk factors and productivity linked to sizable loss
To investigate the impact of different health risk factors upon productivity while at work (presenteesim).
28,375 employees of Bank One (US) who completed a health risk appraisal (HRA) and a brief version of the Work Limitations Questionnaire between 2002 and 2004.
Data from the HRA and Work Limitations Questionnaire were used to investigate the association between health risks and work limitation.
i) low risk – 0-2 risk factors
ii) medium risk – 3-4 risk factors
iii) high risk – ≥ 5 risk factors
- Individuals reported greater overall work limitation when classified as high risk for smoking, physical activity, seat belt usage, use of medication for relaxation, poor life satisfaction, poor physical health, poor job satisfaction, obesity, high blood pressure, and high stress.
- Each additional risk factor was associated with a productivity loss of 2.4% compared with individuals who had no risk factors.
- Individuals categorized as medium risk had an excess productivity loss of 6.2% and high-risk individuals had an excess productivity loss of 12.2% compared with those at low risk.
- Individuals classified as medium or high risk were estimated to cost their employers between US$1,392 and $2,592 in lost productive time each year.
What does this mean?
The study gives an idea of the scale of financial loss attributable to employee health risk factors. Programs targeting these factors could help reduce these losses.