Purpose. To examine the relationship between perceived workplace health support and employee productivity. Design. A quantitative cross-sectional study. Setting. Washington State agencies. Subjects. A total of 3528 employees from six state agencies were included in this analysis. Measures. Perceived workplace health support was assessed by two questions that queried respondents on how often they felt supported by the workplace for healthy living and physical activity. The Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire was used to measure health-related absenteeism and presenteeism in the past 7 days. Analysis. Multivariate linear regression was used to estimate the mean differences in productivity by levels of perceived health support. Results. Most participants were between 45 and 64 years of age and were predominantly non-Hispanic white. Presenteeism varied significantly by the level of perceived workplace health support, with those who felt least supported having higher presenteeism than those who felt most supported. The difference in presenteeism by perceived workplace support remained significant in models adjusting for sociodemographic and health characteristics (mean difference: 7.1% for support for healthy living, 95% confidence interval: 3.7%, 10.4%; 4.3% for support for physical activity, 95% confidence interval: 1.7%, 6.8%). Absenteeism was not associated with perceived workplace health support. Conclusion. Higher perceived workplace health support is independently associated with higher work productivity. Employers may see productivity benefit from wellness programs through improved perceptions of workplace health support.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sharon-laing/2/