Healthy at Work

Last registered on April 13, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Healthy at Work
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005710
Initial registration date
April 10, 2020
Last updated
April 13, 2020, 12:15 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Aarhus University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Aarhus University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2008-08-31
End date
2020-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study employs a social experiment combined with population-wide register-based data to evaluate a comprehensive employer-sponsored health and well-being program, rolled out to about 7,500 healthcare workers in Denmark. The experiment took place over two years (2008-2009), involved in excess of 100 employers, and covered more than 300 work-units. The program consisted of health screenings and exercise during working hours as well as shorter courses on the promotion of healthy living targeted towards key employees. We find that individuals employed at worksites randomized into the program receive fewer services from their primary care physician, just as we detect a decrease in prescription drug purchases. These effects persist both during the course of the program but also in the medium-run. We find no evidence of adverse effects on hospitalizations – a severe health outcome – in the long-run; in fact, results indicate that the incidence of hospitalizations due to mental and behavioral diseases is lower three to seven years after randomization. At the same time we find no evidence that the program was successful in improving the primary managerial goals associated with the intervention, namely absenteeism and turnover. Finally, we show evidence of spillovers within the family; spouses’ health care utilization decreases in the short run too.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Simonsen, Marianne and Lars Skipper. 2020. "Healthy at Work." AEA RCT Registry. April 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5710-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The program provided a a physical and psychological health screening of all co-workers in the treatment group work-units. The physical health screening included biometric measures of body mass index, blood pressure assessment, glycaemia index, and a fitness rating. The psychological assessment consisted of an interview with the health pilot as well as an online stress-assessment survey.

At-risk employees were exposed to life-style improvement programs in addition to employer-sponsored exercise during working hours for up two hours per week for about 15 months. At-risk employees were workers who failed concerning at least one of the biometric indicators: 1) a body mass index (ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of the height in meters) of 30 or less; 2) a blood pressure below 140 (systolic) and 90 (diastolic); 3) a glycaemia index at or below 5.8 mmol/L; and 4) a maximum rate of oxygen consumption as measured during incremental exercise (fitness rating) at 30 or above. Employees were also directly eligible if they themselves classified their health as being poor or very poor during the interview or if they experienced stress often or very often based on the online instrument.
Intervention Start Date
2008-08-31
Intervention End Date
2010-04-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Absence
Turnover
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Primary care physician servicesP
urchases of prescription drugs targeted hypertension (ATC-category C9), cholesterol-lowering drugs (C10), diabetes drugs (A10), severe pain relief (N2), and depression (N05A, N05B, N05C, and N06A).
Hospitalizations (any and subdivided into those associated with mental/behavioral diseases and those due to somatic diseases)
Hourly wages
Hours worked
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Randomization at work-unit level within each of the 11 participating municipalities
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Work-unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
314 work-units
Sample size: planned number of observations
7500 employees
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
144 work-units in treatment arm; 170 work-units in control arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
April 30, 2010, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
No
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

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Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials