Objectives: To investigate predictors of absenteeism and discuss potential implications for policy/program design.
Methods: Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) data and self-reported and objective absenteeism (personnel records) were used to develop a structural equation model, controlling for age, sex, and job classification. A Medical Condition Burden Index (MCBI) was created by summing the number of self-reported medical conditions.
Results: Higher MCBI and stress were direct predictors of absenteeism. Physical activity was not associated with absenteeism but mediated both stress and MCBI.
Conclusions: Because stress impacted both absenteeism and MCBI, organizations may benefit by placing stress management as a priority for wellness program and policy focus. Physical activity was not directly associated with absenteeism but was a mediating variable for stress and MCBI. Measures of stress and physical health may be more meaningful as outcome measures for physical activity programs than absenteeism.