The joint contribution of leisure-time physical activity, insomnia symptoms and smoking to the direct cost of short-term sickness absence: A register-linked cohort study
ISPAH ePoster Library. Lahti J. Oct 16, 2018; 225299; 149
Jouni Lahti
Jouni Lahti
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Abstract Introduction Physical inactivity, smoking and insomnia symptoms are independently associated with increased sickness absence. However, their joint contribution to sickness absence and, especially, their direct cost for the employer, are poorly understood. We aimed to examine whether leisure-time physical activity modifies the association of smoking and insomnia symptoms with short-term (<15 days) sickness absence and their cost. Methods The Helsinki Health Study is a cohort of midlife employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland (baseline n=8960, response rate 67%). During 2000-2002 the participants were mailed a survey questionnaire that gathered information on health behaviour and sociodemographic characteristics. Sickness absence, salary, and time of employment were followed up through the employer’s personnel register between 2002-2016 (78% of the participants gave written consent). Individual salary data were used to calculate the direct cost of short-term sickness absence. Data were analyzed with a two-part model. Results Inactive participants with frequent insomnia symptoms had 2526€ (95% CI 1736€-3915€) higher cost of short-term sickness absence than vigorously active participants without insomnia symptoms. Furthermore, inactive smokers had 4166€ (95% CI 2737€-5595€) higher cost for the employer over the follow-up than vigorously active non-smokers.Conclusions This study showed that leisure-time physical activity, smoking and insomnia symptoms are jointly associated short-term sickness absence and their cost. The results emphasize encouraging employees – especially those who smoke and have frequent insomnia symptoms- into vigorous physical activity in order to reduce the cost of sickness absence. External funding details This study is supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Academy of Finland.
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