December/January 2013/2014 (vol. 10/4)

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Research Plus

Successful weight-loss programme has no impact on absence

A one-year workplace intervention previously reported as effective in reducing body weight among overweight female healthcare workers failed to improve absence or presenteeism, according to this cluster randomised controlled trial1. The intervention comprised a calorie-limited diet, physical exercise and weekly cognitive behavioural training sessions during working hours (54 participants). The 44 control group participants were offered lectures on nutrition during working hours. Randomisation was by work team. As previously reported2, the intervention significantly reduced body weight (mean – 6kg), and reduced body fat percentage. However, there was no impact on sickness absence, productivity, or work ability after three months or one year.

  1. Effects on Presenteeism and Absenteeism From a 1-Year Workplace Randomized Controlled Trial Among Health Care Workers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2013; 55(10): 1186–1190.
  2. Weight loss among female health care workers- a 1-year workplace based randomized controlled trial in the FINALE-health study. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 625.


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2013/2014 (vol. 10/4) pp46