“The Goldilocks Work Principle brings a new, needed initiative”
12th of April 2022
Course leader presentation: Andreas Holterman, Leon Straker and Svend Erik Mathiassen
Better Health by Work – the Goldilocks principle, 3rd – 5th of May 2022, Online course
Andreas Holtermann, you are, together with Leon Straker and Svend Erik Mathiassen the course leaders for our course on “Better health by work”. What is your background?
I have a background in work physiology and occupational health. My main research has been on investigating potential differences in health effects of physical activity at work and leisure (the physical activity paradox), developing better technical measurements of physical activity at work and leisure, and developing and testing workplace interventions for better prevention of musculoskeletal pain and sickness absence among blue collar workers.
Leon has a background in physiotherapy and ergonomics. His research has focused on how technology has changed the work and leisure life of people in ways that impact on health, especially how white collar work has become increasingly sedentary. These changes lead to a realisation that the traditional ergonomics and occupational health approaches to reduce risk by reducing physical load were not universally applicable and did not address the broader society needs – hence the need for a new approach.
Svend is a senior professor at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology at the University of Gävle. His major research interests focus on variation in physical load: how to measure and quantify variation; effects of different types of variation on performance, fatigue and disorders; and initiatives in working life promoting or supressing variation. In keeping with this focus, he developed together with Leon and me, the Goldilocks Work manifest in 2018.
Why do you think that implementing The Goldilocks Work Principle at the workplace is an important and current issue to discuss in 2022?
Our societies and workplaces are in urgent need of healthy productive workers. With the lacking workforce and the increasing statutory retirement age in many countries, there are an urgent need for new initiatives for better promotion of the health of workers. Particularly workers with short education and low income have poor health and increased risk for disease and early drop-out from workforce. However, we know that very few of these workers participates in normal health promotion initiatives at and off the workplace. Thus, the Goldilocks Work Principle brings this new needed initiative aiming for designing the productive work of workers, so they become healthier only by doing their job.
What do you want to say to the participants of the course?
The course will give an overview of this new approach to workplace prevention and health promotion, provide the background to how work can promote health, give practical examples of workplace interventions aiming to change productive work so it promotes health. The course will offer much time for dialogue and discussions between practitioners, professionals and researchers in occupational health and health promotion.