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Occupational Factors and Sick Leave in Australian Employees

Magee, Christopher PhD; Stefanic, Natalie BPsyc (Hons); Caputi, Peter PhD; Iverson, Don PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 6 - p 627–632
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821df4cf
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: CME Available for This Article at ACOEM.org

Objectives: To investigate occupational factors associated with sick leave over a 4-year period in Australian employees.

Methods: Longitudinal data (self-report) from 2861 Australian full-time employees (69.4% male) were used. Occupational factors and relevant covariates were assessed at baseline with sick leave assessed yearly over a 4-year period. The data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression models.

Results: Job strain and longer commuting time were associated with long sick leave, whereas long work hours were inversely associated with long sick leave.

Conclusions: These results provide further evidence that certain aspects of work are associated with sick leave, whereas other work aspects such as long work hours are inversely associated with sick leave. Organizations need to understand and address these factors to improve the well-being of employees and increase workplace productivity.

School of Psychology (Drs Magee and Caputi, Ms Stefanic); Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong (Drs Magee and Caputi); and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (Dr Iverson), Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

Address correspondence to: Christopher Magee, PhD, School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia; E-mail: cmagee@uow.edu.au.

Christopher Magee, Natalie Stefanic, Peter Caputi, and Don Iverson have no commercial interest related to this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine