Health and Productivity Management (HPM) Policy Research Unit

Established : Jun. 1, 2012

Photo by AP/AFLO



To promote preventive health management both domestically and internationally we aim to construct a standard model for healthcare, by building and verifying a system based on preventive medicine and business science that will allow us to assess the social impact of businesses and institutions that practice preventive health management.



  • Establishing and disseminating a theoretical and practical framework for health and productivity management (HPM).
  • Clarifying the health risk structure of organizations based on a “health risk appraisal” and promoting effective intervention.
  • Estimating the total cost of employee health and corroborating that the promotion of HPM will contribute to a total cost reduction.
  • Establishing HPM in Japan by developing systems to visualize the investment effect on health.


  • With the unprecedented falling birthrate and aging population, structural problems such as shrinkage of the working population and increase in lifestyle-related diseases have been emerging. Both maintaining productivity and enabling sustainable management of public health insurance schemes are urgent policy issues for society as a whole.
  • According to a study in the United States, medical expenses account for only 24% of the total costs associated with the health of employees. In another study, job impairment (e.g., presenteeism) represents about 60% of the total health related costs. When indirect costs such as absenteeism (sick days), workers’ compensation, short- and long-term disability, and presenteeism are factored into the total cost equation, the share of productivity-related costs will jump to three-quarters of the total costs. Productivity loss attributed to poor health and/or lifestyle-related risk factors becomes an important consideration in providing employee health management services including health promotion.
  • Health and productivity management (HPM) can be defined as efforts aimed at reducing the overall health related costs by managing both the health and productivity of employees.

Presenteeism: the loss in productivity that occurs when employees come to work but function at less than full capacity because of ill-health.

Health and productivity management scheme

To estimate the total cost of employee health
In Japan, health promotion of employees has been carried out by employers and control of medical expenses has been carried out by health insurers from their own perspectives. A new approach of health and productivity management aims at achieving the overall optimum by integrating them.

Health Risk Appraisal
Recent studies have shown a certain correlation exists between the cost of employee health and health risk items (e.g., lifestyle habits and blood data). The cost of employee health also becomes high when the health risk level becomes high. It is a method for classifying the health risks of an organization into three levels: low, medium and high-risk, according to the number of pertinent health risk items. This approach visualizes the risk structure of the organization. The Health Risk Appraisal allows the making of effective intervention such as worksite health promotion programs by health risk levels.

The Conceptual Framework of “Health and Productivity Management”


Toshiya Watanabe (Vice Director and Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Department of Technology Management for Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering / Executive Director, Executive Vice President, the University of Tokyo)


Hideaki Shiroyama (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Graduate School of Public Policy / Graduate Schools for Law and Politics)
Hiroo Ide (Part-time Lecturer, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Associate Professor, Chiba University Hospital / Associate Professor, Super Aged Society Research Center and Center for Frontier Medical Engineering, Chiba University)
Hiroya Ogata (Part-time Lecturer, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University)
Yoko Tsuno (Part-time Lecturer, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Lecturer, Department of Community Health Care System, Division of health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University)
Michiru Kakinuma (Commissioned Researcher, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
Kenji Muramatsu (Commissioned Researcher, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)