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Original Article
The association between occupational stress level and health-related productivity loss among Korean employees
Jonghee Chung, Jin-Hyo Kim, Jae Yoon Lee, Hee Seok Kang, Dong-wook Lee, Yun-Chul Hong, Mo-Yeol Kang
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023009.   Published online December 28, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023009
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Occupational stress management is particularly important for successful business operations, since occupational stress adversely affects workers’ health, eventually lowering their productivity. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the correlation between occupational stress and health-related productivity loss (HRPL) among Korean workers.
METHODS
In 2021, 1,078 workers participated in a web-based questionnaire survey. HRPL was measured using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire, and occupational stress was measured using the Korean Occupational Stress Scale-Short Form. The occupational stress level was divided into tertiles (low, intermediate, and high), and the low occupational stress group was used as the reference group. Using a generalised linear model, differences in labour productivity loss according to the level of occupational stress were tested after adjusting for demographic characteristics such as age, gender, education level, household income, occupation, and underlying medical conditions.
RESULTS
Non-parametric regression analysis of HRPL according to occupational stress showed a direct association between occupational stress and HRPL. A statistically significant difference was observed in HRPL between participants with intermediate and high occupational stress and those with low occupational stress.
CONCLUSIONS
Our results support the hypothesis that high occupational stress is associated with decreased labour productivity.
Summary
Korean summary
직무스트레스가 건강에 미치는 영향은 잘 알려져 있으나, 노동생산성에 대해 분석한 결과는 그동안 부족하였다. 한국 노동자 1078명을 분석한 결과, 직무스트레스가 낮은 군에 비해서 중등도이거나 높은 경우, 결근이나 프리젠티즘과 같은 건강관련 노동생산성 손실이 약 20%p 정도 높은 것으로 분석되었다.
Key Message
As a result of analyzing 1078 Korean workers, it was revealed that health-related labor productivity losses such as absenteeism and presenteeism were about 20%p higher when occupational stress was moderate or high compared to the low occupational stress group.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health