Date of Conferral
Rising worldwide rates of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the Middle East, principally Saudi Arabia, have put an increasing load on the health system and employers. Middle Eastern organizations have been slow to develop targeted health programs, which include an emphasis on employee productivity. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship, if any, between employee lifestyle and workplace productivity. Productivity is the amount of work produced based on the time and cost required to do so. The underlying theoretical foundations of this research were the socioecological health model and the human capital model. The quantitative, ex post facto design relied on secondary data from Saudi Aramco. Lifestyle data were collected from a health risk assessment including the Stanford Presenteeism Scale. Data analysis consisted of both a correlational and multiple regression analysis. Correlational results indicated that exercise, tobacco use, body mass index (BMI), and nutrition were significantly related to workplace productivity. Exercise and nutrition had a significant positive correlation with workplace productivity, while tobacco use and increasing BMI were negatively correlated with workplace productivity. Multiple regression analysis results explained 21% of the variance in the dependent variable, a sizable percentage with such a large sample. Overall, these results suggest a strong influence of health choices on productivity. Since this research was the first to explore the unique cultural context and draw attention to the increasing NCD burden, the results are notable. Implications of this research should resonate with organizational leaders in the Middle East, and provide a clear opportunity to improve organization and human performance.