Effects of an employee fitness program on reduced absenteeism

J Occup Environ Med. 1997 Sep;39(9):827-31. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199709000-00005.


The effect of participation in an employee fitness program on reduction of absenteeism due to illness on three different worksites (police force, chemical industry, banking) was studied. The study used a longitudinal pretest-posttest design. From 884 subjects, data were collected on absenteeism in the pre-intervention year and on absenteeism in the first year of the fitness program. The subjects were divided into three groups: high participation, low participation, and no participation in the employee fitness program. Results of covariance analyses show that the high participation group had a significant decline in sick days (4.8 days), while the low and no participation groups showed no change in sick days. Even when self-selection in the participation in an employee fitness program seems to be present, there is potentially for a great deal to be gained from participation of this self-selected group in terms of changed sick days.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Physical Fitness*