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Better health at work? An evaluation of the effects and cost-benefits of a structured workplace health improvement programme in reducing sickness absence

23 Feb 2015

Background

This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the Better Health at Work Award—a structured regional workplace health programme which combined changes to the work environment with lifestyle interventions.

Methods

Baseline and follow-up data on sickness-absence rates and programme costs were collected retrospectively via a web survey of all participating organizations. Changes over time were calculated using 95% confidence intervals of the mean, supplemented by hypothesis testing using a t-test. The indicative cost–benefits of the intervention were also calculated.

Results

Participation was associated with a mean reduction in sickness absence of 0.26–1.6 days per employee per year depending on the length and level of participation in the programme. The estimated cost for the programme was £3 per sickness-absence day saved.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the Better Health at Work Award could be a cost-effective way of improving health and reducing sickness absence particularly in the public sector. However, controlled evaluations of future interventions are needed.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Public Health