This report builds on the previous AIHW report Chronic disease and participation in work by showing the association between risk factors and participation in work. In 2004-05, nearly all (96%) working-age people in Australia reported one health risk factor, and three-quarters reported more than one. People who reported three or more risk factors were significantly more likely to not participate in the labour force compared with those who reported no risk factors. Absentee rates for people who reported a risk factor and a chronic disease were significantly higher compared with people reporting no risk factors and no chronic disease. This report is a further reminder of the importance of reducing risk factor prevalence to lessen the impact of future chronic disease among working-age people.