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To investigate predictors of absenteeism and discuss potential implications for policy/program design.Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) data and self-reported and objective absenteeism (personnel records) were used to develop a structural equation model, controlling for age, sex, and job classification. A Medical Condition Burden Index (MCBI) was created by summing the number of self-reported medical conditions.Higher MCBI and stress were direct predictors of absenteeism. Physical activity was not associated with absenteeism but mediated both stress and MCBI.Because stress impacted both absenteeism and MCBI, organizations may benefit by placing stress management as a priority for wellness program and policy focus. Physical activity was not directly associated with absenteeism but was a mediating variable for stress and MCBI. Measures of stress and physical health may be more meaningful as outcome measures for physical activity programs than absenteeism.