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The Association Between Modifiable Well-Being Risks and Productivity: A Longitudinal Study in Pooled Employer Sample

Shi, Yuyan PhD; Sears, Lindsay E. PhD; Coberley, Carter R. PhD; Pope, James E. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 4 - p 353–364
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182851923
Original Articles

Objective: To examine the longitudinal relationship between modifiable well-being risks and productivity.

Methods: A total of 19,121 employees from five employers participated in baseline and follow-up well-being assessment surveys. Multivariate regressions assessed whether changes in absenteeism, presenteeism, and job performance were associated with changes in 19 modifiable well-being risks.

Results: Over time, a 5% reduction in total count of well-being risks was significantly associated with 0.74% decrease in absenteeism, 2.38% decrease in presenteeism, and 0.24% increase in performance. High blood pressure, recurring pain, unhealthy diet, inadequate exercise, poor emotional health, poor supervisor relationship, not utilizing strengths doing job, and organization unsupportive of well-being had greater independent contributions in explaining productivity impairment.

Conclusions: The often-ignored well-being risks such as work-related and financial health risks provided incremental explanation of longitudinal productivity variations beyond traditional measures of health-related risks.

From Healthways, Inc, Center for Health Research, Franklin, Tennessee.

Address correspondence to: Yuyan Shi, PhD, 701 Cool Springs Blvd, Healthways, Inc, Center for Health Research, Franklin, TN 37067 (

This study was funded by Healthways, Inc.

Disclosure: The authors were employed by or stakeholders of Healthways, Inc, when the work was conducted.

Authors Shi, Sears, Coberley, and Pope 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.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine