How Long Will Your Employees Live?  Here’s How to Tell…

Back in March I wrote a blog about how to estimate life expectancy for your employees.  It was about a test recently published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that can indicate health risk factors from which people can estimate their odds of living for the next 10 years.  My source at that time time only included a guideline on the final score. However, I now have the entire table which is shown below.  Also included in this version is an online BMI calculator to make the math a little easier.

Posting the test on your workplace digital signage is an interesting and engaging way to use it to wake up those employees with bad health habits.  It’s a great way to reinforce whatever else you may be doing for heath & wellness awareness.

The quiz focuses on employees over 50 as the more likely candidates to be at near-term death risk.  The test has 12 questions.  You get points for each ‘yes’ answer.  Some are obvious, for example the one regarding smoking, and not so obvious, e.g., if your BMI is in range you get a point. (This may be because thinness at an older age can be a health risk.) The worst score is 26, which indicates a 95% chance of dying by 2013.  A score of zero means you only have a 3% chance of dying. (Sorry guys, you won’t be getting a zero – you automatically get two points for being male).

Here’s the test as reprinted on Good luck to you and your employees!

1. What is your age?
60-64 = 1 point
65-69 = 2 points
70-74 = 3 points
75-79 = 4 points
80-84 = 5 points
85+ = 7 points

2. Are you male or female? 
Male = 2 points
Female = 0 points

3. Figure your BMI (Body Mass Index)
a. Weight: _____ b. Height: _______
Multiply 703 X (weight in pounds / height in inches²). If BMI is less than 25 score 1 point.  *Note that the height is squared. If math isn’t your thing, you can find a quick online calculator here

4. Has a doctor ever told you that you have diabetes or high blood sugar? (Y/N) Yes = 1 point

5. Has a doctor told you that you have cancer or a malignant tumor, excluding minor skin cancers? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

6. Do you have a chronic lung disease that limits your usual activities or makes you need oxygen at home? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

7. Has a doctor told you that you have congestive heart failure? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

8. Have you smoked cigarettes in the past week? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

9. Because of a health or memory problem do you have any difficulty with bathing or showering? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

10. Because of a health or memory problem, do you have any difficulty with managing your money—such as paying your bills and keeping track of expenses? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

11. Because of a health problem do you have any difficulty with walking several blocks? (Y/N) Yes = 2 points

12. Because of a health problem do you have any difficulty with pulling or pushing large objects like a living room chair? (Y/N) Yes = 1 point

Here’s the table to see how you did:

Points & Predicted Mortality % Next 10 Years
0 = 2.8%
1 = 4.0%
2 = 6.0%
3 = 9.1%
4 = 14%
5 = 21%
6 = 30%
7 = 40%
8 = 52%
9 = 62%
10 = 71%
11 = 81%
12 = 85%
13 = 89%
>14 = 95%

If your DS system has QR code capability, you can encourage employees to scan the code to take a copy of the survey home.  It’s a great way to encourage health & wellness at home, get some positive PR for your DS, and show your employees that you care about their wellbeing. 

Frank Kenna III
November 25, 2013

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