SmartCompany reports that employees who tend to engage in regular physical activity are absent from work almost half as often as those who don’t, according to research released today by the Centre for Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention.

The report compared the absentee rates of 200 Australian employees taking part in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), an event in which office workers use pedometers to track and increase their daily step count, with 200 who didn’t participate.

Over a six month period the 200 GCC participants took a total of 666 sick days, almost half as many as the 1128 sick days their more sedentary colleagues took. Overall, GCC participants took 3.3 days off over the six month period, compared to 5.6 days for non-participants.

During GCC 2007, 23,000 corporate workers across the globe walking a collective 30 billion steps, travelling 19.6 million kilometres and averaging 10,516 steps each every day.

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