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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
Research Participation


Aletta's mission is to achieve more healthy years for everyone. Participation - that is: participating in society and playing an active role in social activities - has an important influence on our health. On the other hand, our health is an important predictor with regard to whether or not we can actively participate in society. This interaction is central to the theme Participation.

Active participation in society

Within the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health we think that everyone can and should participate. That is why we investigate how we can bring about the active participation of every Dutch person - young and old, healthy and unhealthy, employed and unemployed. Active involvement in social activities is a broad concept. It translates into themes such as paid work, care, domestic work and voluntary work. Moreover, factors such as the mental and physical health of people play an important role. Only by close co-operation between different disciplines (such as economics, rehabilitation, psychology and medicine) and with a wide range of stakeholders (such as employees, employers, occupational medicine and insurance professionals) we can make progress.

At the start of the theme the emphasis lies on work and health. In the light of demographic developments and the ageing of the population, government policy is aimed at increasing the labour market participation of vulnerable workers (think of disabled people, migrants, low socio-economic positions -SEP- and older employees). But also promoting the active and healthy aging of the current workforce is on the agenda of both the government and employers. Some lines of research:

  • With the rise of the retirement age, the question arises as to how employees can achieve that age in good health. We investigate which policy and which initiatives in practice promote healthy ageing in the workplace.
  • Within the second line of research, we investigate how we can improve the labour market position of employees with health problems, in particular people with a low socio-economic position. What contribution can they make themselves? And what is the impact of extending the careers of these people to their health in later life?
  • The Dutch are getting older. What impact does a longer lifespan have on our health and labour participation? Within the third line of research, we investigate the relationship between our life course and the length of our working life.

With the theme Participation we want to achieve a healthier working life for every Dutch man and woman through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.

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