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Examining Individual Factors According to Health Risk Appraisal Data as Determinants of Absenteeism Among US Utility Employees

Marzec, Mary L. PhD; Scibelli, Andrew F. MBA, MA; Edington, Dee W. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 7 - p 732–740
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182954080
Original Articles

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.

From the Health Management Research Center, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Dr Marzec and Dr Edington); and NextEra Energy Inc, Juno Beach, Fla (Mr Scibelli).

Address correspondence to: Mary L. Marzec, PhD, Health Management Research Center, 1015 E. Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (

Although the organization involved in this study is a collaborative partner with the Health Management Research Center, there was no funding for this specific project.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine