Impact of Obesity on Work Productivity in Different US Occupations: Analysis of the National Health and Wellness Survey 2014 to 2015

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to quantify the relationship between workers’ body mass index and work productivity within various occupations.

Methods:

Data from two administrations (2014 and 2015) of the United States (US) National Health and Wellness Survey, an Internet-based survey administered to an adult sample of the US population, were used for this study (n = 59,772). Occupation was based on the US Department of Labor's 2010 Standardized Occupation Codes. Outcomes included work productivity impairment and indirect costs of missed work time.

Results:

Obesity had the greatest impact on work productivity in Construction, followed by Arts and Hospitality occupations. Outcomes varied across occupations; multivariable analyses found significant differences in work productivity impairment and indirect costs between normal weight and at least one obesity class.

Conclusion:

Obesity differentially impacted productivity and costs, depending upon occupation.

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