The effectiveness of a tailor-made intervention aiming at a healthy lifestyle and improving mental health among employees of two Dutch research institutes (WC2008-054)

Background

Starting date: 01/12/2008
With strongly developing technology and welfare, daily life in the western European countries has changed tremendously over the last decades. Work has also consequently changed: a shift is noticeable from more physically active work to more sedentary work because of automation. The change in daily life and work makes it unnecessary to be physically active. This inactiveness results in a positive energy balance – together with the availability and growing portion size of foods, amongst other reasons - and it is an important cause of weight gain. Weight gain in its turn leads to overweight. Overweight is considered one of the largest threats to workers’ health at this moment. Targeting both sides of the energy balance can prevent overweight.
Work has not only become less physical but also more mentally demanding. An imbalance between resources (personal and job related) and job demands can lead to work related mental health problems. Mental health problems are considered to be one of the most important hazards to workers’ health of the future. Work related mental health problems could be prevented by improving work engagement (by stimulating personal resources).