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Ефективна економіка № 11, 2013

UDC 331.101.262


I. V. Tkachenko,

The Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor,

State Higher Educational Institution “Ukrainian Academy of Banking of The National Bank of Ukraine”, Sumy




І. В. Ткаченко,

к. і. н., доцент кафедри теоретичної і прикладної економіки,

Державний вищий навчальний заклад «Українська академія банківської справи Національного банку України», м. Суми




The article deals with questions of accumulation of individual human health capital, taking into account its specific qualities and characteristics; focuses on factors that influence the formation of individual positions regarding the necessity to preserve and increase their health and the causes of its deterioration are determined; outlines areas of acquiring individual health capital within all periods of life.


У статті розглядаються питання накопичення капіталу індивідуального здоров’я людини з урахуванням його особливих якостей і ознак; акцентується увага на факторах, які впливають на формування позиції індивіда щодо необхідності збереження і примноження власного здоров’я, та визначаються причини його погіршення; окреслюються напрями набуття капіталу індивідуального здоров’я упродовж усіх періодів життя.


Keywords : health capital, personal health, investment in health, healthy lifestyle, recreational activities, culture health.


Ключові слова: капітал здоров’я, індивідуальне здоров’я, інвестиції в здоров’я, здоровий спосіб життя, оздоровчі заходи, культура здоров’я.



Statement of the problem. Human capital is a major factor in the innovation development, competitiveness of individual organizations and the national economy as a whole. It is possible to ensure the continuation of its operations and increase quality, in the first place, if a person has such economic good and a resource as health, which, acting as a factor of creating social wealth, becomes capital. Health serves both as a productive resource and as an economic good, and therefore there is a need for its conservation and enhancement of all economic actors - state, businesses and households. As the owner of health capital is a man, its savings largely depend on his awareness of need of its conservation and rational individual choice.

Analysis of recent research and publications. In the current study health capital is often interpreted as a form or an element of human capital [1; 2]. More plausible is the view, that health capital and human capital should be considered separately, because health capital as an asset enables its holder to accumulate as much as possible and use your human capital, and if there is poor health other directions of investment in human capital are ineffective [3, 4]. Foreign and national researchers D.I. Aslanov [5 ], I. Rozmaiinskyi [3 ], Y. Myhalyna [6], S. Sychev [ 7], A. Marushkevych [8 ], O.V. Gnatiuk [9] focus on particular aspects of formation of individual health capital, however, scholars ignore the problem of comprehensive approach on the ways of its preservation and enhancement .

The purpose of the study is an attempt to outline the areas of formation of individual health capital using a wide range of methods for creating a culture of health and ways to its preserve and enhancement.

The main results of the study. The process of accumulation of individual health capital is determined by factors that influence human behavior. To their range is counted confidence that the efforts, related with investing in health, will enable the individual to apply his human capital successfully and for a long time. Another important factor is the orientation of human on behavior of other members of society due to the lack of necessary information about the benefits of investment in health capital. A significant influence on the position regarding his health can make demands of formal and informal institutions, as well as a habit to take care of his health. These factors are interrelated and affect investments in health capital and the dynamics of its accumulation.

To understand the importance of accumulation individual health capital should be considered that it, as a specific form of capital, conveys special qualities and characteristics. It affects the productivity of social labor and the dynamics of economic development of society, which is why it is a national treasure. Human health as capital requires the use of much expenses sometimes by current needs and does not create a profit quickly. Health capital is also a good, created on the basis of reserves and resources, on which the good is produced. Human health can’t be purchased or recover in the short term, but it can be instantly lost due to extraordinary circumstances. Health as capital may be exhausted, but can’t depreciate and lose relevance to humans. Health capital is largely a sphere of individual responsibility, which depends on the quality of life of its bearer [5, p. 205-206].

Researcher T. Anafianova calls element, that is a part of health capital, "the potential human health" and proposes the definition of individual health capital as the complex of potentials of physical, mental and social conditions, that change over periods of age cycle of human [10, p. 193]. In this case she refers to the definition of human health proposed by the World Health Organization as a condition of complete mental, physical and social well-being of the individual, not just the absence of disease and physical defects. Hence, there is the problem of dynamic structure of health capital, which requires making efforts to increase it.

The reasons that lead to the reduction of health are lack of government strategy and systems to ensure a high quality of life; lack of research and lack of possibility to implement innovative technologies of high quality of life and health; low levels of knowledge and culture of quality of life and neglect attitude to own health and the health of others; unavailability and poor quality of health services; lack of cultural and natural healthy food; the development of health services with the main focus on pharmaceuticals and extremely low development of preventive care.

Investment in health capital consider the purchase of goods and services that can improve health, including the long-term as well as the rejection of the goods and services that can deteriorate it, and the use of free time in order to improve health, including in the future. Human health also depends on the quality of life, is determined by social climate, education, health, medical and social assistance , food, housing and working conditions, vacation, external and internal security. Scientists have offered new approaches to the problem of preserving and strengthening the physical, mental and spiritual health, that provide a transition from the concept of continuous improvement of medical care to the concept of preserving and strengthening the health and human capital [11].

For a long time of new history in Ukrainian society there was no tradition of education culture attitudes to own health, knowledge about healthy lifestyles , healthy body. Therefore, it is extremely important in the education of children to form the view that health is the greatest value and care about it must be constant throughout life.

At the initial stage of human development the first skills of maintaining own health and the others are formed in the family. Especially actual this problem is when the state has limited capacity to provide rehabilitation services for children. From 2000 to 2011 the number of children's health camps increased from 7615 to 17703, but the number of seats which they have declined from 227 thousand to 194 thousand. [12] According to the President of Ukraine Commissioner for Children's Rights Yurii Pavlenko in summer of 2013 only 30 % of children had the opportunity to improve health, because the infrastructure, that provides recreation and leisure, is outdated, and capacity of existing institutions - insufficient [13].

Researchers believe, that the most favorable directions of health strengthening for children and young people in family are experience of senior members of the family in the case of continuous support healthy lifestyles; care of parents about emotional stability and emotional well-being of their children; support the wishes of children and young people to participate in sports elective, circles, workshops, organization of full leisure; providing opportunities to participate in sports and recreational activities; targeting on high-quality viewing film TV production; the use of technical means of playing character for knowledge of own capabilities, taking into account the mental, spiritual and social aspects of health strengthening [8, p. 81].

Important role in the formation of individual health capital researchers give to education, where the theoretical knowledge and practical experience of possible ways to preserve and increase health are received; valuable attitude to health and healthy living and quality of personality characteristics necessary for understanding importance of health for the individual and society are formed [14, p. 63].

An important step in a child's life is a study in high school where knowledge is obtained, which in the future will become the basis of professional training and the basis of human capital formation. Thus, the problem of maintaining and enhancing health in this period becomes of utmost importance and is the urgent in conditions of decrease its indicators among school children. According to the researchers, 6.8 % of children of primary school age have a high level of physical health and a higher average, 52.1 % average, 41.1 % below average and poor. At the same time, the vast majority of students do not understand the nature of health and have a idea about it at the household level, and do not possess the necessary of valeological abilities and skills [9].

In this regard, there is a need to train highly qualified specialists in teaching Valeology and teachers who have appropriate knowledge. Thus, in V.N. Karazin National University in studying process were introduced disciplines "Valueology", "Basis nature therapy", "Etnovalueology" that give knowledge that can affect formation of health culture in students with the help of Ukrainian folk traditions. After studying the course "Etnovalueology" University researchers tested the students, the results of which showed a high level of awareness of youth in issues of natural healing methods , during national holidays , using music, dance and crafts, and 96% of tested believe that they are responsible for their life by themselves. Extremely important is that information, obtained during studying, students used for their own recovery and passed their knowledge while working in child health clinics [15].

Thus, education of culture attitudes to own health in children can be performed through the spreading of knowledge about national traditions and customs, aimed at comprehensive development of man, his physical, mental and spiritual health. Special mention deserves the Cossack system of physical education, aimed at tempering body and spirit, people's physical games, the tradition of folk cooking, food, traditional medicine . Especially Ukrainian folk traditions of health maintaining can become one of the widely publicized Eastern systems of healing. In this regard, in Ukraine it is already long overdue the decision of creating a special channel on television, designed to promote healthy lifestyles and provide information about methods of preservation and enhancement of human health.

Health significantly affects the level of efficiency at any stage of human life. Thus, physical and mental efficiency has a significant impact on the student studying that is related with the accumulation of large amounts of knowledge and skills of future profession. Reduced physical activity is associated with prolonged stay of youth in classrooms, work at the computer, resulting in decreased concentration, loss of interest in learning, and further leads to a deterioration of health.

That is why scholars emphasize the need to increase the physical activity of students in the studying process. Conducted experimental studies by them have shown, that morning exercises for 25-30 minutes of low intensity improve mental efficiency of students in the next six hours of training and moderate intensity exercises increase the level of mental capacity of students, that persists to the end of the school day. The study also showed that students, who do not abandon physical activity during examinations, had significantly greater ratings of "good" and "excellent" marks than those, who do not engage in physical exercise [7, p. 175 ]. Thus, the health of students has a direct impact on the process of obtaining vocational education, which is a component of human capital. Therefore, it seems reasonable to focus more on issues of preserving and strengthening the health of students in teaching subjects "Safety" , "Labor Economics", "Physical Education" and block of  social and humanities disciplines, promote a healthy lifestyle during realization outside cultural and sporting events.

A healthy lifestyle includes organization of leisure and recreation, that helps to make prophylaxis and disease prevention. Solution of this problem is possible through the use of the recreational areas of public service. In the world there is a growing demand for medical (health resort) tourism, authorities and businessmen show interest in its development. However, in Ukraine for the period from 2000 to 2011, the number of sanatoriums and resorts with treatment decreased from 549 to 508, sanatoria - from 377 to 224 and the number of beds that they have fell from 151 thousand to 141 thousand and from 31 thousand to 19 thousand [12]. Also there is a decrease in the number of different health institutions and lag of resorts on the level of the development of resort and tourist infrastructure services, cultural and entertainment programs for tourists.

Our country has the most advantageous geographical location, favorable climate, natural resources that can be used to create balneal and climatic summer and winter resorts. Only one Transcarpathian region of Ukraine has the largest reserves of mineral waters of all known types, hydro-mineral and balneal deposits. Researchers emphasize the need for the development of logistics spa facilities and organizing promotional campaigns, furthermore skillful organization of the spa industry, ensuring a comfortable stay for tourists, research of market and consumer preferences, the supply of new and high-quality services can transform health resort tourism in profitable sector of the national economy [6].

Modern Ukrainian economy needs a competitive employee who, having health capital, is able to efficiently form his human capital. That is why it is necessary to turn to the experience of developed countries and promote it in the part where there are successes in accumulation of health capital. Yes, people in the West believe that the current large investments in health will pay off in the future and therefore they are ready to wait for returns on these investments, preparing themselves for "healthy aging". In developed countries, people tend to make decisions rationally and calculate the long-term consequences of their actions today, including the strengthening of their health. In these countries social norms, that contribute to the accumulation of capital health, and well-developed health care system, which gives citizens confidence in the necessity of its investment, have developed [3, p. 117-121 ].

Conclusions. Thus, the task of building a humanistic economy puts on the agenda the problem of preservation and enhancement of health, that is both individual and social value. Therefore, the key challenge for the individual is strengthening of motivation of maintaining and improving health during all periods of life, his awareness of the need of investment in it for returns in the future. For society as a whole, there is a task of creating a culture of health and, therefore, the transition from therapeutic to the security strategy. An important aspect is also the understanding by man and the state full responsibility for the safety of such kind of national wealth as health, and use a variety of recreational activities.



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Стаття надійшла до редакції 17.11.2013 р.