Obesity and health problems have been observed to reduce productivity and increase absenteeism. Although the relationship between health and productivity is strong, few studies have examined whether the level of obesity and physical activity affect the absence from work and how the health-related habits are affected. The aim of this study was to examine the relations between Body Mass Index (BMI), physical activity, health-related habits and absenteeism, among 103 employees of the Greek General Secretariat of Sports. Significant differences observed in the absence days between normal weight (NW) individuals (3.07±1.7), overweight (8.56±3.08) and obese (12.62±10.1). Significant correlations were observed between BMI and days absent from work (R= 0.673), between BMI and activity level (R= -0.497) and between days of absence and physical activity (R= -0.368). NW employees showed significantly higher physical activity score (35.87±15.79) than overweight (24.31±12.8) and obese (14.62±5.9377). In addition, NW employees consume significantly less fast food meals (2.26 ± 1.76) a week compared to overweight (3.72±1.91) and obese (3.54±1.61). This study provides evidence that obesity and lack of physical activity affect the absent days from work. Higher BMI is also associated with unhealthy attitudes and health problems.
Key words: Body mass index, health behaviours, absenteeism, physical activity.
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