Physical Activity Linked To Less Sick Days

Men's Health |

Hey Boss Man, the choice is yours, either encourage your employees to workout during the day or suffer from sick leave syndrome

Being or becoming vigorously physically active was associated with a decreased risk of taking sick days off, according to this prospective study of 4,182 middle-aged employees of the City of Helsinki.

At the start of the study and five to seven years later the employees were questioned about their amount of leisure time physical activity, with employer records were used to track how many sick days the employees took.

Compared to people who remained physically inactive, inactive people who became vigorously active (they got at least 14 MET hours per week that included vigorous activities such as jogging) had a 20% lower risk of short, self-reported sickness absences and a 37% lower risk of longer, medically-certified sickness absences.

People who were vigorously active in both time periods had the lowest risk of sickness absences compared to persistently inactive people, a 30% lower risk of short, self-reported absences and a 41% lower risk of longer medically-certified absences.

The authors suggest that adopting vigorous physical activity in middle age may lower the risk of absence rates. Even adults who are already moderately active may benefit by increasing their vigorous physical activity, according to the authors.

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