Four or more health risk factors double risk of absenteeism
The impact of behavioral health risks on worker absenteeism. Serzner SA, Gold DB, Bultman KK. J Occup Environ Med. 2001. 43: 347-354.
To examine the relationship between health risk status and the likelihood of absence from work.
35,451 employees from 28 private and public sector organizations in the US.
- Employees were divided into two categories: i) high absenteeism (two or more days absent in the previous year) and ii) low-absenteeism (one or fewer days absent in the previous year).
- Each employee completed a health risk appraisal, which generated data on 10 risk areas: alcohol use, back care, driving, eating, exercise and activity, mental health, self-care, smoking, stress, and weight.
- Higher absenteeism related to high-risk status in eight out of 10 health risk areas.
- The health risks with the greatest impact upon absenteeism were i) mental health (47% greater chance of high absence compared with low risk status), ii) poor back care (40%), iii) stress (24%), and iv) overweight (23%).
- Individuals with four or more health risk factors were nearly twice as likely to be in the high-absenteeism group than those with three or fewer factors.
What does this mean?
Behavioral health can place employees at high risk for absence from work.