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Work site wellness may reduce absenteeism

ATLANTA, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Employees participating in a large-scale, work-site wellness program had reduced absenteeism, U.S. researchers found.

Researchers at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health studied environmental weight management interventions implemented at 12 work sites at Dow Chemical Co. in 2006-2007. Five sites received intense weight management interventions, four received moderate interventions and three received Dow's standard individual programs.

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For the moderate or intense intervention employees, the average days absent due to illness per year decreased from 3.9 days in 2006 to 3.4 days in 2007.

Researchers found that average absenteeism days at the moderate or intense sites were 1.5 days lower than at the standard sites between 2006-2007.

Cost savings due to reduced absenteeism were estimated at $414.90 per employee per year, the researchers said.

The researchers presented the finding at the American Public Health Association meeting in Philadelphia.

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