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.
From the Department of Public Health (Drs Janssens, De Bacquer, and Braeckman), Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; and Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion (Drs Kittel and Casini), School of Public Health, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.
Address correspondence to: Heidi Janssens, MD, Department of Public Health, Ghent University, University Hospital–(2) Block A, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Belstress III was supported by the Belgian Federal Service Employment, Labor and Social Dialogue, and by the European Social Fund.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.