wellbeing news

Workshops have started

12.08.2019 09:06

Workshops have started

Health promotion project at workshops for people with disabilities

Prevent diseases and strengthen health so that socially deprived people have the same health options as everyone else: this is the Prevention Act of All Germany from 2015. How can people working in disability workshops (WfbM) be promoted specifically in the interest of their health? A team of health scientists from the University of Bielefeld is conducting research on the "Wir bewegen Werkstätten" project along with v.d. Bodelschwinghschen Bethel Foundation.

The project is funded by the Verband der Ersatzkassen e.V. (Vdeki). As part of the Healthy Lives Matter offer, alternative health insurance companies jointly implement prevention projects across the country.

In the first phase of the project, researchers interviewed people with and without disabilities, who work in two workshops in Bielefeld. The team conducts research on three areas of daily work life in which respondents feel impaired in their health. "They lack supply and assistance in terms of healthy eating, exercise and the ability to reduce stress," says Jennifer Linnemann, who co-authored with Adam Arhelger, Stefanie Gillitzer and Mareike Rüweler, and led by Professor Dr. Med. Claudia Hornberg in Bielefeld University Research.

"Based on these three fields of work, we are currently designing offers together with our employees and employees. This ensures that we consistently focus on the needs of our employees," explains Adam Arhelger. "Also decisive in our research is the ongoing evaluation and revision of the bids. Only in this way can we test whether they accept our measures and take effect," says Stefanie Gillitzer.

Three examples show how Bielefeld health scientists promote employee health at WfbM:
• Nutrition: A survey found that many people at the workshops find it difficult to distinguish healthy from unhealthy meals in the canteen. Currently, the research team is working on a concept that helps employees make informed choices for a particular court.
• Movement: Employees and employees often mention back and neck complaints as a result of sitting too long and lacking exercise during work. Because of this, scientists are testing breaks in the movement in workshops: short guided units of movement in which muscles are tense.
• Stress: Regular work breaks are part of daily work, but there is little opportunity for retreat or relaxation. Together with the staff, the scientists assembled so-called "relaxation boxes" at the workshop: trying out relaxation techniques and identifying effective strategies for reducing stress. They put together these strategies – which symbolize the cards – and the necessary materials for them, and incorporated them into their daily work routine. There, they can indulge in a relaxation strategy while on vacation.

"The project immediately convinced me. It makes movement in our daily work routine, does everything good and relieves us of stress. The project reaches employees with and without disabilities; greater involvement is not possible. Thanks to our collaboration with the University of Bielefeld, we are receiving fresh impulses and helpful suggestions, ”says Martin Henke, General Manager of the Werk der v. Bodelschwinghschen Foundations Area of ​​Work and Professional Rehabilitation Foundation.

“One of the goals of the project is to further develop concrete measures for workshops for people with disabilities in Bielefeld in such a way that guidelines for health promotion and prevention for workshops generally emerge. So Bielefeld's results should benefit other workshops as well, "says Jennifer Linnemann.

The project "Moving Workshops" will last for a total of three years until the end of 2020.

Scientific contact:

Jennifer Linnemann, University of Bielefeld
Faculty of Health Sciences
Telephone: 0521 106-4402

Further information:

Features of this press release:

Nutrition / Health / Nursing, Society, Sport Science
research projects