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Impact of a Web-Based Worksite Health Promotion Program on Absenteeism

Niessen, Maurice A. J. MA; Kraaijenhagen, Roderik A. PhD; Dijkgraaf, Marcel G. W. PhD; Van Pelt, Danielle MSc; Van Kalken, Coen K. PhD; Peek, Niels PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 4 - p 404–408
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824d2e43
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the effect of participation in a comprehensive, Web-based worksite health promotion program on absenteeism.

Methods: Study population consists of Dutch workers employed at a large financial services company. Linear regression was used to assess the impact of program attendance on the difference between baseline and follow-up absenteeism rates, controlling for gender, age, job level, years of employment, and noncompletion of the program.

Results: Data from 20,797 individuals were analyzed; 3826 individuals enrolled in the program during the study period. A 20.3% reduction in absenteeism was shown among program attendees compared with nonparticipants during a median follow-up period of 23.3 months.

Conclusions: Participating in the worksite health promotion program led to an immediate reduction in absenteeism. Improved psychological well-being, increased exercise, and weight reduction are possible pathways toward this reduction.

From the NDDO Institute for Prevention and Early Diagnostics (NIPED) (Mr Niessen, and Drs Kraaijenhagen and Van Kalken), Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Clinical Research Unit (Dr Dijkgraaf), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; BETER (Ms Van Pelt), Tilburg, the Netherlands; and Department of Medical Informatics (Dr Peek), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Maurice A.J. Niessen, MA, NDDO Institute for Prevention and Early Diagnostics (NIPED), Amsteldijk 194, 1079 LK Amsterdam, the Netherlands (

Drs Van Kalken and Kraaijenhagen are directors and co-owners of NIPED. This institute developed the studied program and currently markets it in the Netherlands.

Mr Niessen is full-time employed as researcher by NIPED. Ms Van Pelt is employed at the safety, health, and welfare service of the financial company (BETER) evaluated in this study. All other authors are employed by the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam. They received no additional funding for this study and report no competing interests.

Authors Niessen, Kraaijenhagen, Dijkgraaf, van Pelt, van Kalken, and Peek have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine