Some workplace health promotion (WHP) programs can have a positive impact on the problem of employees who are present at work, but limited in some aspect of job performance by a health problem, according to a study published in BMC Public Health. ADD LINK
The study screened 2032 titles and abstracts and accepted 14 studies that provided strong to moderate preliminary evidence for a positive effect on the problem of presenteeism. Secondary objectives of the study were to identify characteristics of successful programs and potential risk factors for presenteeism.
Successful programs offered organizational leadership, health risk screening, individually tailored programs, and a supportive workplace culture. Potential risk factors contributing to presenteeism included being overweight, poor diet, high stress, and poor relations with co-workers and management.
The study’s authors conceded that presenteeism is a relatively new field and acknowledged there are difficulties in measuring it. Currently, there is no universal agreement on the appropriate method for measuring presenteeism, but it is typically measured as the costs associated with reduced work output, errors, or failure to meet production standards.
While it is difficult to value presenteeism economically, the study concludes the economic costs appear to be considerable – and growing. An increasing number of people in developed countries are affected by chronic health conditions and an aging workforce is more likely to be affected by these conditions. Rising health care costs and growing awareness of presenteeism losses are increasing the demand for WHP programs.