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The Association of Health Status, Worksite Fitness Center Participation, and Two Measures of Productivity

Burton, Wayne N. MD; McCalister, Katherine T. EdD; Chen, Chin-Yu PhD; Edington, Dee W. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2005 - Volume 47 - Issue 4 - p 343-351
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000158719.57957.c6
Original Articles

Objectives: We sought to examine the associations between participation in a worksite fitness center and worker productivity.

Methods: A modified Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ) and employees’ short-term disability claims were used as productivity measures with multivariate logistic regression models to control for health risk, age, gender, and work location.

Results: Nonparticipants in a worksite fitness center were more likely to report health-related work productivity limitations for time management (odds ratio [OR] = 1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09–2.41), physical work (OR = 1.58, CI = 1.03–2.43), output limitations (OR = 2.24, CI = 1.01–2.12), and overall work impairment (OR = 1.41, CI = 1.00–1.96) than fitness center participants. Fitness center participation also was associated with 1.3 days fewer short-term disability days per year per employee (P = 0.02) and 0.39 fewer health risks (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: These results support the association of worksite fitness center participants with improved worker productivity and fewer short-term disability workdays lost.

From the Department of Environmental and Occupational Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; and University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Wayne Burton has no commercial interest related to this article.

Address correspondence to: Wayne N. Burton, MD, 1 Bank One Plaza, Mail Code IL1–0006, Chicago, Illinois 60670-0006; E-mail:

©2005The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine