‘JOINTWORKS’ TO TACKLE CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN AT WORK

Mar 12, 2024 | UK News

A research network aimed at transforming the management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace, which will particularly focus on supporting the ageing workforce, has been launched at the University of Birmingham.

The JOINTWORKS network, awarded £109,000 in funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research, as part of its Work and Health Research Programme, will focus particularly on the ageing workforce by developing practical interventions to assist those with chronic musculoskeletal disorders (CMSDs) and enhancing their ability to remain productive and healthy.

The network is being led by Dr Glykeria Skamagki and Prof Afroditi Stathi from the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. It will bring together a multidisciplinary disciplinary team of experts, including occupational healthcare professionals, policy makers, researchers, and most importantly, the public – particularly older workers themselves.

JOINTWORKS will employ innovative approaches to explore and understand the complex interplay of factors affecting musculoskeletal health at work. It will engage diverse stakeholders to ensure that the programmes developed are inclusive and cater to a wide range of needs in both office and remote working environments.

Dr Skamagki said: “With the JOINTWORKS Network, we are not just conducting research; we are creating a movement. Our goal is to co-create initiatives with direct input from those most affected. This approach ensures that our solutions are not only scientifically sound but also resonate with the real-life experiences of those managing CMSDs every day.”

Prof Stathi added: “It is crucial that we identify effective and sustainable ways to support our ageing workforce to maintain health and well-being. Through JOINTWORKS, we aim to influence policy and practice, ensuring that older employees are not just able to work, but they enjoy productive and meaningful working lives.”

JOINTWORKS aims to make a significant impact on how CMSDs are managed in the workplace and become a sustainable, interdisciplinary platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration and advocacy in workplace health.

For more information about JOINTWORKS and how to get involved, visit University of Birmingham’s project page.

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