February/March 2009 (vol. 05/5)

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Research Plus

Health promotion, absence and wellbeing

A systematic review and meta-analysis finds that while workplace health promotion may provide some benefit in terms of job wellbeing, work ability and sickness absence, education and psychological interventions applied alone are ineffective. Forty-six studies from an initial trawl of 1,312 abstracts published between 1970 and 2005 were included in the analysis, though the quality of the results was considered ‘good’ in only three of them; ‘moderate’ in 21 and ‘poor’ in 22. There was only weak evidence that health promotion improves job wellbeing, mental wellbeing and work ability, and moderate evidence that it can decrease sickness absence. Reported relative risks were rarely significant. There is some evidence that exercise improves overall wellbeing, mental wellbeing, work ability and decreases sickness absence.

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008; 50(11): 1216–1227. 


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2009 (vol. 05/5) pp40