It is unknown whether workplace interventions successfully improving health outcomes can also provide concurrent improvements in presenteeism and absenteeism.
A 1-year cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted on 144 employees at a care unit in Denmark. The intervention consisted of calorie-limited diet, physical exercise, and cognitive behavioral training during working hours 1 hour per week. The reference group was offered presentations about healthy lifestyle. Absenteeism and presenteeism (productivity, workability, and sickness absence) were recorded at baseline and after 3 and 12 months of intervention.
In intention-to-treat analysis, a significant effect of the intervention was found for productivity after 3 months. Nevertheless, after 12 months no significant effects on absenteeism or presenteeism were found.
This study suggests that a worksite intervention, despite successfully reducing overweight, does not induce lasting improvements on absenteeism or presenteeism.