WEBINAR: The Physical Activity Health Paradox

6th – 7th of September 2021
Online webinar

About this course

While leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is considered among the best investments for good health, work ability and longevity, high levels of occupational physical activity (OPA) are shown to increase risks for poor health, work productivity loss and premature mortality. These opposing effects of physical activity constitute the physical activity health paradox (PA paradox).

Even though work is the main domain of physical activity worldwide, occupational physical activity is barely mentioned in the current physical activity guidelines. The guidelines recommend physical activity, but do not distinguish between LTPA and OPA. This lack of differentiation and communication regarding the benefits and risks of physical activity at work and leisure can be challenging for particularly workers and workplaces with manual work. The current physical activity recommendations and respective one-size-fits-all interventions might not be beneficial for prevention of ill health and sick leave, health promotion, work productivity, quality of life and longevity for millions of people worldwide

This course will:

  • facilitate a better understanding of the PA paradox
  • present the latest available evidence and potential mechanisms
  • discuss the recent WHO guideline for physical activity and sedentary behavior and occupational health guidelines and recommendations
  • debate how we can “bridge the gap” between research, practice and guidelines on PA in Occupational health, Public health, clinical and preventive practice

Background and introduction to the Physical Activity (PA) Paradox

Introducing the Paradox, Andreas Holtermann

Background and understanding of the Paradox, Niklas Krause

What is the current evidence, Pieter Coenen

What can explain the paradox?

Different physiological effects, David Hallman

Role of psychosocial factors, Els Clays

Public health and occupational guidelines

The 2020 WHO physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines for adults, Emmanuel Stamatakis

Occupational guidelines, recommendations and advice – Reflections on the Paradox, Leon Straker

Panel session – How to unite public health & occupational health PA Guidelines, key messages and practice

Physical activity at work – understanding, practice & examples

From a municipality perspective, Marie Birk Jørgensen

From a workplace perspective, Thomas Heilskov-Hansen

Reflections from a Health Authority, Tue Kristensen

Reflections from an Occupational Health Authority, Jørn Holm

Health-promoting interventions – what can be done?

How does a healthy manual job look like, Charlotte Lund Rasmussen

Changing the job – when and in which way, Svend Erik Mathiassen

Health-promoting interventions – what has been tried?

Workplace physical exercise for manual workers, why and how, Karen Søgaard

Can we design productive work, so it promotes workers’ health, Anders Fritz Lerche


Contact person

Course leader

Andreas Holtermann, Professor
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark
email: aho@nfa.dk

In practical matters, please contact:

Project Manager

Morten Jakobsen
NIVA
mobile: +358 40 126 3336
email: morten.jakobsen@niva.org

Webinar leader

Andreas Holtermann

Andreas Holtermann

  • Professor, National Research Centre for the Working Environment, DK

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