The Effect of Intelligent Physical Exercise Training on Sickness Presenteeism and Absenteeism Among Office Workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2017 Oct;59(10):942-948. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001101.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of individually tailored intelligent physical exercise training (IPET) on presenteeism and absenteeism among office workers.

Methods: In a 1-year randomized controlled trial (RCT), employees were allocated to a training group TG (N = 193) or control group CG (N = 194). TG received 1-hour high-intensity IPET once a week within working hours, and was recommended to perform 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) 6 days a week during leisure-time.

Results: An intention-to-treat analysis showed no effect on absenteeism, but a significant 4% increase in workability and 9% increase in general health in TG compared with CG. A per-protocol analysis [adherence of ≥70% (N = 89)] in addition showed a significant 6% increase in productivity and a 29% reduction in absenteeism compared with CG.

Conclusion: IPET combined with recommendations of leisure-time PA significantly improved presenteeism and decreased absenteeism if following the protocol.

Trial registration: NCT01366950.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training* / methods
  • Presenteeism / statistics & numerical data*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data

Associated data