h2. Spotlight on article published in

h2. "+American Journal of Preventive Medicine+":http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379709004139

_IBI Spotlights call attention to important health and productivity findings from peer-reviewed work by external researchers. Unless otherwise stated, the authors are not affiliated with IBI, nor was the research executed on IBI’s behalf. IBI members are encouraged to obtain the original articles from the copyright holder._

h2. What is the Issue?

Worksite physical activity programs potentially can improve workers’ health and in turn reduce workplace absence. The impact of these efforts on absenteeism has not been summarized.

h2. What are the findings/solutions?

* Research on the impact of workplace physical activity interventions on work attendance shows mixed results.
* There were no significant differences in work attendance when comparing in pre- and post-program outcomes across employees in the physical activity group and those in the control group.
* Workers who participated in physical activity interventions did not see a significant difference in absences compared to the period before the intervention.
* There is some evidence that workers in the physical activity group had better work attendance than employees in the control group.
* Physical activities were shown to significantly improve other health outcomes such as overall fitness and biometric levels.

h2. Journal Citation

Conn, V. S., Hafdahl, A. R., Cooper, P. S., Brown, L. M., & Lusk, S. L. (2009). Meta-analysis of workplace physical activity interventions. _American Journal of Preventive Medicine_, 37(4), 330-339.

h2. Objectives

To summarize the results indicating whether workplace physical activity interventions improve employees’ health outcomes.

h2. Method

A meta-analysis of 138 studies with approximately 38,000 study participants. The studies looked at employer-sponsored physical activity programs and measured one or more physical activity, fitness, biometric, or work-related outcome (e.g., work attendance, job stress, job satisfaction, health care utilization).

h2. Results

* Approximately 30 studies included work attendance as a health outcome. Evidence that physical activity interventions can improve work attendance was mixed, with no significant pre-post difference in attendance associated with participation in a physical activity program. Overall, program participants had better attendance than non-participants.
* Evidence for other work-related outcomes such as job stress, job satisfaction, and healthcare utilization was also mixed.
* There was stronger evidence that physical activity programs can improve workers’ physical activity, fitness, risk of diabetes, and biometrics outcomes.

h2. Conclusion

The review finds little evidence that workplace physical activity programs can reduce absence. These programs may provide other tangible health benefits.

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