School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Research

Work and Health Research Centre

The Work and Health Research Centre (WHRC) undertakes research and consultancy into improving health and well-being in the workplace.

We have worked with many organisations from both the private and public sectors, ranging from small local firms, through to government departments and major international companies.

The WHRC conducts influential research, which directly informs workplace policy and practice.

Our areas of expertise are:

  • interventions to improve health and well being
  • improving health and safety
  • mental health at work
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • accident causation and injury prevention

Consultancy services available from the Work and Health Research Centre:

  • Career counselling
  • Change management
  • Employee opinion surveys
  • Expert witness
  • Leadership development and training
  • Psychometric testing and assessment
  • Risk assessment/management
  • Stress risk assessments (applying the HSE Management Standards Tool)
  • Workstation/ergonomic assessments
  • Workplace fitness/health awareness programs

We have worked with many organisations from both the private and public sectors, ranging from small local firms, through to government departments and major international companies.

Loughborough University responds to the ageing workforce

Researchers at Loughborough University have been awarded £1.3 million from the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme. The research, which is led by Professor Cheryl Haslam, Director of the University's Work and Health Research Centre in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, is entitled 'Working Late: strategies to enhance productive and healthy environments for the older workforce.' It centres on how there is a pressing need for employment policies, workplace design and occupational health provision that takes account of the ageing workforce.

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A staged approach to reducing MSDs in the workplace (HSE)

This research attempted to improve the efficacy of interventions by applying the stage of change approach (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1982) to the workplace. The stage of change model acknowledges the importance of addressing attitudes in order to achieve behaviour change, and assumes that any behaviour change involves movement through distinct stages. An individual's stage determines their receptiveness to, and the likely efficacy of, particular methods of education.

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Occupational Health & Well-Being of Junior Doctors

The principal aim of this research is to develop a picture of the overall well-being of Junior Doctors presently involved in the Foundation Programme. Acknowledging the breadth of this nationwide programme, the present research will limit itself to the examination of Junior Doctors working within the Midlands, for obvious pragmatic reasons. Having obtained this information, the final objective of the research thesis is to present the findings to key stakeholders involved at policy level. If the research consistently identifies specific issues of concern to the Junior Doctors these matters will be discussed with the organisational representatives. This, in turn, may facilitate the development of future policy.

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Organisational Benefits of Proactive Health and Safety Management (IOSH)

This research is examining the impact of health and safety management on a range of organisational outcomes, across a variety of industries and different sized organisations. The research involves 31 organisations, comprising interviews with key stakeholders, a one-off survey of company employees and an examination of organisational level indicators such as employee turnover and accidents. The findings of this project will help guide future advice to both health and safety practitioners and organisations about the nature and potential benefits of health and safety best practice, and inform further research into the methods of estimating the value of health and safety management in the workplace.

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What Constitutes Effective Manual Handling? (HSE)

Back pain is most common in workers who undertake tasks that involve: heavy manual labour, heavy handling, manual handling and repetitive tasks. Manual handling covers a wide variety of tasks which include lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying.

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The Interaction Between Design and Occupier Behaviour in the Safety of New Dwellings

The aims of this research are to gain an improved understanding of the different ways in which people use (and misuse) features within their home and identify the varying ways in which occupier behaviour can interact with dwelling design to lead to unsafe practices.

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Driving out pain for motorists (Bupa Foundation)

This research will examine the effects of driving on people's health. It will involve the development of a driving ergonomics tool, which it is hoped will help businesses manage the risks posed by driving to employees.

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Companies' perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures (HSE)

This major study looked at companies' perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures. The Health and Safety Executive actively campaigns to improve awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace. Although such campaigns have led to improvements in the management of health risks, some companies might be put off making improvements by the perceived costs of implementing these.

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Effects on working life of medication prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and depression (HSE)

This research collected new and in-depth data on the use of psychotropic medication among the working population to improve understanding of the impact of mental health problems and the treatment for these conditions on performance in the workplace. The research examined the effects of both mental health problems and drug treatments on work performance, including effects on absenteeism and risk of accidents; effects on relationships with colleagues and the extent to which employers support employees who are experiencing mental health problems.

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Professor Cheryl Haslam
Director, Work and Health Research Centre 

Cheryl is a Chartered Health Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Cheryl has an established track record in occupational health psychology having conducted influential research in this area for over 20 years. This research has covered mental health at work, musculoskeletal disorders, accidents and work-related ill-health, managing chronic ill-health at work and health promotion in the workplace.

Dr Stacy Clemes 
Senior Lecturer

Dr Stacy Clemes is a Lecturer in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University. Her interests include: The influence of diet and exercise on health and wellbeing. Pedometer-determined activity levels of UK adults; Motion-induced and visually-induced sickness; Physiological and sensory changes over the menstrual cycle.

Dr Hilary McDermott
Lecturer

Dr Hilary McDermott is a Lecturer in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University. Her research interests are in health and well-being with a strong emphasis on injury prevention and the interactive processes leading to injury.

Professor Maggie Cork 
Visiting Professor
Professor Maggie Cork (BA MSc PhD C.Psychol AFBPsS DMS DipM MIoD) is Visiting Professor in the Work and Health Research Centre, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University.

Dr Paul Miller 
Collaborating Researcher

Dr Paul Miller has a particular interest in the economics of employee health and well-being and has worked as a consultant to many large organisations on demonstrating the economic value of investments in employee health and well-being.

Dr Myanna Duncan
Research Associate
 
Myanna is a research associate within the Work and Health Research Centre (WHRC) at Loughborough University. Her current research is examining the impact of the Working Time Directive (WTD) on the health and wellbeing of Junior Doctors'. She is particularly interested in rota redesign and its accompanying effects on wellbeing.

Aadil Kazi
Research Assistant

Aadil is a full-time research assistant within the Work and Health Research Centre (WHRC) at Loughborough University.

Ricardo Twumasi
Research Assistant
 
Ricardo is a full-time research assistant within the Work and Health Research Centre (WHRC) at Loughborough University his current research is in relation to the ageing workforce and looks at the impact of policy and practice in the UK on later life working.

Iain Wilson
Research Student

Iain is a full-time PhD research student within the Work and Health Research Centre. Iain is conducting research examining the work-related health of those employed in the white water paddle sport industry.  

WHRC Collaborators

Professor Roger Haslam
Head of Department of Ergonomics (Human Sciences)

Roger Haslam (BSc, PhD, FErgS, EurErg, MIOSH) is Professor of Ergonomics in the Design School at Loughborough University. He is Coordinating Editor of the journal Ergonomics and President Elect of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (formerly the Ergonomics Society). Roger's primary interest is concerned with optimising the 'fit' between people and the products, equipment, systems and environments with which they interact.

Dr Diane Gyi
Senior Lecturer

Dr Diane Gyi is a Reader in the Design School at Loughborough University. Her interests include: Inclusive design (products, services and systems); health ergonomics (i.e. work related ill health, musculoskeletal problems, the ageing worker); vehicle ergonomics (driver posture, comfort, design); and construction ergonomics (health and safety, manual handling, task design). 

Dr Elaine Gosling
Research Associate
 
Elaine is part of the Working Late network (www.workinglate.org) working on Work Package 4. This four year collaborative research project is supported by the New Dynamics of Ageing programme which is funded by the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC & MRC.