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The Association Between Optimal Lifestyle-Related Health Behaviors and Employee Productivity

Katz, Abigail S. PhD; Pronk, Nicolaas P. PhD; Lowry, Marcia MS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 7 - p 708–713
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000191
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the association between lifestyle-related health behaviors including sleep and the cluster of physical activity, no tobacco use, fruits and vegetables intake, and alcohol consumption termed the “Optimal Lifestyle Metric” (OLM), and employee productivity.

Methods: Data were obtained from employee health assessments (N = 18,079). Regression techniques were used to study the association between OLM and employee productivity, sleep and employee productivity, and the interaction of both OLM and sleep on employee productivity.

Results: Employees who slept less or more than 7 or 8 hours per night experienced significantly more productivity loss. Employees who adhered to all four OLM behaviors simultaneously experienced less productivity loss compared with those who did not.

Conclusions: Adequate sleep and adherence to the OLM cluster of behaviors are associated with significantly less productivity loss.

From HealthPartners (Dr Katz, Dr Pronk, and Ms Lowry); HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research (Drs Katz and Pronk), Minneapolis, Minn; and Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Pronk), Boston, Mass.

Address correspondence to: Nicolaas P. Pronk, PhD, Vice President and Chief Science Officer, HealthPartners Mail Stop 21111H, PO Box 1309, 8170 33rd Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55440 (

This study was partially funded by HealthPartners.

Authors Katz, Pronk, and Lowry 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.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine