WorkAbility Fitness Screen

WorkAbility Fitness Screen


Businesses are realizing that healthier employees are more productive and less costly. The greatest challenge when implementing cost-effective post-offer worker fitness screens and health promotion programs is how to structure services in a manner that ensures safe, productive job performance, and motivates employees who would most benefit from adopting more active and healthier lifestyles.

A WorkAbility Fitness Screen (WFS) is a non-diagnostic screen of musculoskeletal health, physical fitness, and job-specific workabilities. This is administered to new hires after a contingent job-offer. This exam establishes a health and fitness baseline for new hires, determines suitability for physical work tasks, and helps prevent fraudulent claims, unnecessary healthcare, or needless work disability. This screen may be performed at the work-site or clinic in conjunction with a screen for illegal drugs and other biometric tests. WFS includes a fitness questionnaire and job-specific fitness-for-duty tests:

Sampling of tests included in a Standard WFS

  1. Vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure)
  2. Height/Weight/Abdominal girth
  3. Near Vision Acuity Screen
  4. Far Vision Acuity Screen
  5. Active Movement Screen
  6. Two Square Agility Test
  7. Grip Strength Test
  8. WorkAbility Rate of Manipulation Test
  9. High Lift Strength Test to job demand
  10. Low Lift Strength Test to job demand
Justification for this representative fitness screen

  • Monitor and reduce hypertension CV risk factor
  • Monitor and reduce obesity health risks
  • Monitor and improve close vision
  • Monitor and improve distant vision
  • Monitor and reduce musculoskeletal risks factors
  • Monitor and reduce risk for falls
  • Monitor and reduce risk for hand/wrist problems
  • Monitor finger dexterity and medication motor effects
  • Improve body mechanics and safe work assignment
  • Improve body mechanics and safe work assignment

Sampling of added tests for Heavy Labor WFS

  1. Submaximal aerobic step test
  2. Frequent Chest Lift Test to job demand
  3. Frequent Low Lift Test to job demand
  4. CKCUES Test of upper extremity stability
Justification for other fitness test options to consider

  • Monitor and reduce physical inactivity lifestyle risk
  • Improve body mechanics and safe work assignment
  • Improve body mechanics and safe work assignment
  • Monitor upper extremity stability for work assignment

Other test options may include: Horizontal Push Strength Test (for jobs that require push force), Pinch Strength Test (for jobs that require forceful pinching), Grooved Pegboard Test (for jobs that require fine motor skills), Keyboarding Speed Test (for jobs that require computer use), Total-Body Dexterity Test (for jobs that require manipulation in forward, overhead, and lower work postures).

Functional job analysis is required to validate hiring cut-scores.Employers receive a Summary of WorkerFIT that references only the candidate’s work abilities compared to job demands. Candidates NOT cleared for FULL DUTY may be subject to further review of feasibility for job accommodation if additional employment consideration is warranted based on qualifying disability or other protected status.

All workers cleared for employment are provided with a detailed report card of their fitness test results. Low risk or “fit” workers will be encouraged to maintain their current fitness level, whereas higher risk workers will be encouraged to initiate recommended wellness interventions. Tests from the WorkAbility Fitness Screen components may be repeated on a periodic basis for health surveillance or a voluntary workplace wellness program. Workers receive a fitness report card that compares current fitness with past performance to motivate compliance with recommended follow-up. The level of exam complexity (Standard vs. Heavy Labor WFS) and specific tests administered to workers in different job categories may vary – based on differences in job demands, injury risks, or employer budget constraints.