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Work-related factors of presenteeism: the mediating role of mental and physical health

journal contribution
posted on 2016-04-01, 00:00 authored by R Pohling, G Buruck, K L Jungbauer, Michael LeiterMichael Leiter
Even though work-related factors have been found to play a crucial role in predicting presenteeism, studies investigating established theoretical frameworks of job design features and, in particular, underlying mechanisms are still very scarce. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of the areas of work life according to the Areas of Worklife Scale (AWS; Leiter & Maslach, 2004) on presenteeism. We examined mental and physical health as the underlying process of this relationship and assessed 2 presenteeism outcome measures and their relationship to each other-that is, the frequency of acts of presenteeism and work productivity. Using a cross-sectional design, the study was conducted in a sample of 885 employees from German public service. Results showed that the influence of some, but not all, areas of work life (workload, control, reward, and values) on both acts of presenteeism and health-related lost productivity was mediated by health indicators (well-being and musculoskeletal complaints). Moreover, we found a relationship between health-related lost productivity and acts of presenteeism. The present research clarifies the importance of work-related factors as antecedents of sickness presenteeism. The findings of our study also emphasize the necessity to include both acts of presenteeism and health-related lost productivity in presenteeism research and prevention. Presenteeism should be included as a measure in health prevention interventions because it reflects a crucial part of employee health that is not covered by other measures.



Journal of occupational health psychology






220 - 234


American Psychological Association


Washington, D.C.







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, American Psychological Association