FAS-centre Working Life: Interdisciplinary Research on Work Stress and Health

Project leader


Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/10/2009
End date: 30/09/2012
Funding: 15000000 SEK


The work environment of the post-industrial 24/7 society involves constant accessibility, high demands on individual responsibility, fuzzy borders between work and leisure, a high variability of work hours, job insecurity / temporariness, expanding/shrinking companies. At the same time there has developed a new pattern of occupational diseases characterized by stress related disorders and Sweden has seen a doubling of long term sickness absence, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and anxiety from 1993 to 2003. In 2007 the leading Swedish research institute for working life research was closed, leaving a void. We here create a unique virtual interdisciplinary research center with strong groups at two leading universities (Stockholm University and Karolinska institutet) that together will address the issue of work, stress and health. The focus will span from the social causes, via biological mechanisms, to long-term health outcomes and we believe that understanding of stress needs an understanding of restitution/sleep. We will focus strongly on the stress/sleep mechanisms that may cause reduced brain metabolism and increased immune and endocrine system activity that both may be related to fatigue and sickness perception and related sickness absence. We will also focus on treatment of stress related diseases and on the new types of stress due to lack of borders between work and free time, as well as temporary employment and rigidity of work hours. Another strong focus is the combined effects of physical and mental load, as well as the stress of risk of health hazards of new technology. Sickness absence is a strong endpoint, apart from traditional public health diseases, and efforts will be made to determine what characterizes low absence work places. Much of the work will be based on advanced physiological (sleep recording, brain scanning, immune system analysis) and epidemiological (large longitudinal databases) methods.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13