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Effectiveness of a Combined Social and Physical Environmental Intervention on Presenteeism, Absenteeism, Work Performance, and Work Engagement in Office Employees

Coffeng, Jennifer K. MSc; Hendriksen, Ingrid J. M. PhD; Duijts, Saskia F. A. PhD; Twisk, Jos W. R. PhD; van Mechelen, Willem PhD; Boot, Cécile R. L. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 3 - p 258–265
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000116
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of a combined social and physical environmental intervention as well as the effectiveness of both separate interventions.

Methods: In a 2 × 2 factorial design, 412 office employees were allocated to the combined social and physical environmental intervention, to the social environmental intervention only, to the physical environmental intervention only, or were part of the control group. Data on presenteeism, absenteeism, work performance, and work engagement were obtained with questionnaires at baseline, 6, and 12 months. Multilevel analyses were performed.

Results: The combined intervention showed a decrease in contextual performance and dedication. The social environmental intervention showed an improvement in task performance. The physical environmental intervention revealed an improvement in absorption.

Conclusion: Although the study showed some promising results, it is not recommended to implement the current interventions.

From the Department of Public and Occupational Health (Mrs Coffeng and Drs Duijts, van Mechelen, and Boot), EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Body@Work TNO-VUmc (Mr Coffeng and Drs Hendriksen, van Mechelen, and Boot), Research Center Physical Activity, Work and Health, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; TNO (Expert Center Life Style) (Dr Hendriksen), Leiden, the Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Dr Twisk), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Department of Health Sciences (Dr Twisk), VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Cécile R. L. Boot, PhD, VU University Medical Center, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Van der Boechorststraat 7-C573, 1081 BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands (

This project is part of a research program “Vitality in Practice,” which is financed by Fonds Nuts Ohra (Nuts Ohra Foundation). The trial is registered at the Dutch Trial Register (NTR) under trial registration number: NTR2553. Mrs Coffeng wrote the initial article. Drs Hendriksen, Duijts, Twisk, Mechelen, and Boot provided intellectual input and had a role in supervision. All authors have read and approved the final version of the article.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine