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Regular physical activity (PA) has a significant impact on health. There is scientific evidence for prescription of exercise in the treatment of at least 26 different chronic non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, it has an indirect role in the preservation of work capacity. The aim of this study was to review the published results of research on the relationship between leisure-time PA and absenteeism due to sickness. Medline database was searched using the keywords 'leisure-time physical activity AND (sick leave OR sickness absence OR absenteeism)'. Fifteen studies were included in the final analysis. A negative correlation between leisure-time PA and absenteeism due to sickness in working population was determined in 11 studies. The results support the inclusion of PA promotion in the programmes intended to reduce absenteeism prevalence, the latter being an important public health issue.
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