Association between physical activity and sickness absenteeism in university workers

López-Bueno, Rubén and Smith, Lee and Andersen, Lars L. and López-Sánchez, Guillermo F. and Casajús, José A. (2020) Association between physical activity and sickness absenteeism in university workers. Occupational Medicine, 70 (1). pp. 24-30. ISSN 1471-8405

[img] Text
Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (253kB)
Official URL:


Background: Sedentary occupations have increased by more than 10% in Western countries over the last two decades, and the yearly global cost of physical inactivity has been estimated to be $53.8 billion. As workers tend to move less in the workplace, they are more likely to develop a sedentarism-related chronic condition and to be absent from work due to illness, although research evidence on the issue remains unclear. Aims: To investigate associations between physical activity (PA) and sickness absenteeism in the workplace among Spanish university workers. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional research with data from 1025 workers aged 18 to 65 (43% women)from a Spanish university. Physical Activity Vital Sign (PAVS) and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short versions were used to evaluate levels of PA. Workplace absenteeism was self- reported by participants. Written questionnaires distributed during medical checks included PAVS, IPAQ and the question about absenteeism among other information. The association between PA and sickness absenteeism was examined using adjusted multiple linear regression. Results: After adjusting for age, sex, job function, chronic conditions, sedentarism and smoking, each weekly hour of PA reduced sickness absence by -1.20 (95% CI:-2.40 to 0.00) days per year. Conclusions: The implementation of PA promotion strategies aimed at university employees may lead to a reduction of days off work due to illness.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Sickness cost, sick leave, physical activity, university, workplace
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 12:00
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 10:08

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item