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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824b2133
Original Articles

The Association Between Body Mass Index Class, Sickness Absence, and Presenteeism

Janssens, Heidi MD; Clays, Els PhD; Kittel, France PhD; De Bacquer, Dirk PhD; Casini, Annalisa PhD; Braeckman, Lutgart PhD

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Objective: To examine the relationship between body mass index class, presenteeism, and prospective registered sickness absence.

Methods: Data were collected from 2983 Belgian workers. Presenteeism was assessed by a single question, evaluating the frequency of being at work, despite illness, during the preceding year. Sickness absence data were registered during 12 months' follow-up. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted.

Results: Body mass index class was positively and significantly associated with presenteeism (at least two occasions of working despite illness) in the male employees and was a significant predictor of high sickness absence (at least 10 sick leave days) in the female population. A final multivariate model demonstrated that these relations were only partly mediated by self-rated health.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest a gender difference concerning absenteeism and presenteeism in overweight and obese employees.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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