Working population health metrics

Scand J Work Environ Health. 2004 Oct;30(5):339-49. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.821.


This review is concerned with population health metrics that simultaneously consider information on mortality and nonfatal health outcomes as probabilistic measures representing the level of health in a working population. The optimal properties that such a measurement system should have are briefly discussed, and the merits and limitations of health expectancies are compared versus health gap measures. The conceptual basis of these measures are considered, especially with a view to health promotion. The application of worklife expectancies is illustrated with the data obtained from sequential surveys on the work ability status of aging Finnish municipal workers. In conclusion, the developed worklife expectancies are considered to be appropriate indicators for measuring the future duration of occupancy in a given state of work ability, and they should be preferred to alternative measures of population health in the context of occupational health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Demography
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Probability
  • Quality of Life*