Working hours, health, well-being and participation in working life

Creating new working time models and solutions to Nordic countries.

Nordic countries share similar working life structures and basis for working hour regulations. The overall aim of the project is to develop evidence-based models and solutions related to working hours to support health, well-being and work participation among employees in the Nordic countries. The project will create working time related solutions especially to women and ageing workers who often have challenging working hours. Among these groups, the role of work-life balance and health, which are the key determinants of well-being at work, will be studied as horizontal key concepts in this study.

The specific aims of the project are to study the societal trends and socio-economic differences of Nordic working hour patterns using representative national and European data to identify policy-relevant trends and vulnerable groups for targeted interventions (according to age, gender and socioeconomic status (WP1).

Secondly, to study the effects of shift work and working time autonomy, using well-established prospective cohort studies, on health, work-life balance and work participation among both the general population and among subgroups with decreased health and to study whether age and gender moderate the effects of working hours and working time autonomy on health, work-life balance and work participation (WP2).

Finally, the project creates and tests both individual and organizational level interventions related to working hours in shift work, boundaryless work and safety-critical 24/7 industries to promote health, well-being and work participation with the focus on women and older workers (WP3). The evidence-based solutions, models, tools and guidelines will be carefully implemented in the Nordic countries. Based on co-operation between the Nordic countries, we will create a new interdisciplinary Nordic platform for working hours, health and well-being research to strengthen the initiated Nordic collaboration.


Maria Nilsson

Maria Nilsson

Special Adviser