University of Mannheim: Integrate a healthy lifestyle into everyday work? Wanted: participants for psychological study

It is not easy for many professionals to integrate sufficient exercise and a healthy diet into an often hectic working day. Both in the office and in the home office, however, a healthy lifestyle is important in order to remain productive and fit in the long term. “Nevertheless, for many working people, especially in stressful work phases, there is only one wish to exercise more,” says Prof. Dr. Sabine Sonnentag, holder of the chair for work and organizational psychology at the University of Mannheim. “In reality, that often doesn’t work. We deal more closely with this area of ​​tension between desire and reality in our research. “

The team around Prof. Dr. Sabine Sonnentag and the doctoral students Theresa Koch and Jette Völker are investigating how a healthy lifestyle can be integrated into everyday working life as part of the “SMARTJOB” research project. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

During the pandemic, the researchers already collected data online from employees from all over Germany in the first part of the research project. Since the pandemic situation now allows, the second part of the research project will take place on site with participants from the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. Here the researchers are now investigating to what extent a smartphone app can help implement a healthy lifestyle. For this purpose, participants will receive a smartphone and an activity sensor for the duration of the study. “Of course we carry out our study with a hygiene concept,” says Sonnentag. “The process is compliant with the university’s regulations. All devices that we hand out are carefully disinfected. “

After an online welcome survey, employees taking part in the study answer questions three times a day on the smartphone provided. In addition, their physical activity during the working day is recorded by an activity sensor. The research team also wants to review how a healthy lifestyle can be maintained over the long term. It therefore carries out a follow-up and final survey.

The research project is aimed at all employees of legal age from the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and the surrounding area who work at least 30 hours a week – whether on site at a workplace or in the home office. As part of the study, participants receive scientifically based tips on increasing healthy eating and physical activity in their everyday work. They can also take part in a raffle for vouchers for (online) shops in the fields of sports and nutrition worth a total of 1,000 euros.