Work and health

Most people of working age spend a third of each day at work. Work and health are connected in many ways. At best, work promotes the well-being of the worker, organisation and society as a whole. On the other hand, work, or lack of work, can cause various health problems. Working methods are also undergoing changes. Although permanent employment and work carried out at a workplace are most common, remote work, fixed-term employment and entrepreneurship are becoming increasingly important in the working life. Knowledge work is increasing, but at the same time, work that contains many traditional exposures remains. As the labour force is becoming older, and the retirement age is higher, long-term illnesses that affect working ability are becoming more common. Occupational health has a key role in supporting the working ability of workers.

With the help of studies on occupational health, methods can be discovered to promote the positive effects of work and to minimise harmful effects. We carry out extensive studies on this field in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and several domestic and international operators. Ongoing projects study and develop impact indicators for the service system of occupational health and operating models to support the working ability of the unemployed. We also study the well-being at work of people who have type 1 diabetes, support for people who are returning to work after burnout, the health effects of work in shifts, inability to work caused by musculoskeletal diseases, the ergonomics of cleaning and nursing, the occupational safety of agricultural work, and the connection of strenuousness work during pregnancy to the various phases of pregnancy.

Similar to a child’s need to play, an adult must work – research on connections between work and health is a most interesting field of research, and a concrete impact can also be achieved with the help of research. So that no one will fall ill due to work, and that the everyday life of individuals, companies and society would run smoothly.
 

For further information Kimmo Räsänen, professor, Email kimmo.rasanen(at)uef.fi