[Health promotion in day-care centres in Reykjavík—intervention and result of actions]

Agústa Gudmarsdóttir, Kristinn Tómasson
Læknablađiđ 2007, 93 (3): 189-98

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to compare wellbeing, health and work environment before and after intervention among employees of Reykjavík city day-care centre.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study is a prospective interventions study. In the year 2000 employees of 16 day-care centres responded to a questionnaire regarding work environment, health and wellbeing. Work environment evaluation was completed and the centre classified into four groups accordingly. Subsequently, the "equipment was renewed" noise protection improved and the employee received education concerning occupational health. Six months, after interventions, in the year 2002 the same questionnaire was readministered.

RESULTS: Response rate in 2002 was 88% (n=267) but 90% in the year 2000. Work environment had improved. More employees had received instruction on good workposture and good work technique than 2 years earlier. Fewer employees used awkward posture than before. Better workspace resulted in reduced number of symptoms, also for the youngest employees. Symptoms were also fewer where unskilled employees were in majority and where the fewest of them had received proper education on work posture. In the year 2002, psychosocial wellbeing was better or equal than two years earlier. This was associated with better education and higher age even despite less workspace. Employees awareness towards noise was greatly improved.

CONCLUSION: It is possible to improve work methods and work environment of employees with goal directed intervention, thus laying the ground for wellbeing at work. The interplay between the factors education and age is complex, though. Thus it is important, that all workplaces, adopt the process of "risk assessment", intervention, and then reassessment of the work environment. By doing so the goals of health promotion and good occupational health can be reached.

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