6. Health

Submitted by admin on 27. April 2022 - 19:53
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6. Health


Working group on Global Systems Accounting
Human well-being accounting

Since good health is essential to human well-being and to enable all to contribute productively to society at each stage in life, health accounts should treat this as health capital, with all factors damaging health increasing health debt.

Facilitator: Sara DeHoff
Working group members:


Health is an essential requirement for well-being. Meaningful health accounting would treat human health and productivity as capital, and all activities that damage health would increase health debt. This is presently measured largely as increasing financial costs of the health care system, not as a loss of human well-being.

A health budget would start with individual health and the ability of each person to optimize their physical, mental, social, and spiritual capacities to achieve well-being and to contribute to society. Such accounting would therefore support individuals in both the refinement of their character and their contributions to society – the main objectives of a meaningful life. The accounts would need to consider health at all stages of life, both in terms of the characteristics of a healthy body and its biological requirements for care and nutrition and behavioural determinants of health from exercise to harmful addictions.

Health accounting on the level of the community would evaluate the societal health conditions and efforts to improve them such as with health education, and account for the level of social cohesion and mutual support within the community. Then governments and other institutions are responsible for laws and regulations to protect and clean up the environment – air, water, and soil – on which human health depends, to regulate damaging substances such as tobacco and alcohol, and to ensure affordable health care for all. Negative indicators would be gender violence, hate crime, gun violence, war, racism and other forms of discrimination, and stress from poverty.

The ultimate goal would be measurements to optimize each person’s ability to contribute to individual and collective well-being in this world as we build a global civilization, representing the maximum health capital, perhaps with some measure of “service/years” that each person in good health is able to contribute at each stage in life, from junior youth activities to the stories of the elders. The health accounts would cross-link to some other forms of accounting, for example with the food, poverty and pollution accounts measuring some of the factors damaging health, and the work, knowledge and spiritual accounts relating to the contributions healthy people can make to our collective well-being.

Link to the section of the background paper


Health diagram

Health diagram

Ideal state

Developing potential
Contributing to society
Connecting to nature and people

Social cohesion
Sense of harmony, peace, justice, collaboration, and satisfaction
Clean environment
Thriving arts and culture

Organization (Government and Business):
People are thriving
Planet is stewarded
Products are beneficial

Non-financial currency

Health indicators and social characteristics to be selected

Positive indicators

Physical activity
Blood values in a healthy range
Healthy cardiovascular system
Healthy food
BMI in a healthy range
Normal body temperature
Strong hand grip

% people with good health
Healthy life expectancy
Density of medical doctors
Accessibility to healthcare
- Waiting time for medical treatment
- Affordability
Preventive medicine
Traditional healing practices
Access to nature
Clean environment
Affordable public transportation
Availability of healthy food

Universal Health Coverage
Addiction prevention programs
Health education programs
Laws to protect the health of the population

Contribution to health insurance
Workplace safety
Psychological safety
Contribution to the health of the community where the company is located
Healthy products

Negative indicators

High Blood pressure
Blood sugar

Prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, pulmonary disease, malaria
Child mortality
Suicide rate
Addiction rate (alcohol, tobacco, hard drugs)
Child malnutrition

Child mortality
Death rate due to preventable diseases

Sick leave
Workspace injuries
Unhealthy products
Illnesses in the community near the plant due to pollution

Current state of the art

Extensive data on poor health, much less on good healt



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Last updated 1 May 2022