Objective: This prospective study investigates whether changes in health risks are associated with changes in presenteeism (on-the-job productivity loss).
Method: A total of 7026 employees of a national financial services company responded to a health risk appraisal (HRA), which included a modified version of the Work Limitation Questionnaire (WLQ) in both 2002 and 2004. The association between changes in health risks and changes in self-reported presenteeism was examined.
Results: Changes in perceptual/psychologic health risks had a strong association with changes in presenteeism. Individuals who reduced their risks generally saw an improvement in productivity, whereas those who gained risks or remained high-risk status saw deterioration in productivity. Each risk factor increased or reduced was associated with a commensurate change in 1.9% productivity loss over time and estimated to be $950 per year per risk changed.
Conclusions: Positive and negative changes in health risks are associated with same-direction changes in presenteeism.