Key to Health: you can take care of your health at work
Promoting healthy lifestyles in the workplace: this is the goal of the “Key to Health” project, which the Autonomous Province of Trento, Trento Province Healthcare System, FBK and Inail, in collaboration with the TrentinoSalute 4.0 Competence Center for digital health, have been promoting for over three years. Today, a brief presentation of the program, in a crowded conference hosted at the Trento Province Health Services Center on Viale Verona, was opened by the greetings of Stefania Segnana, the provincial councilor for health, social policies, disabilities and family. “The Health Department has worked hard on this project because a work environment that stimulates well-being can enable us to counter some of the most common chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In addition to this program – Councilor Segnana concluded – we are looking for other effective strategies to promote health prevention in the workplace”.
Next to councilor Segnana was the general manager of the Province Department for Health and Social Policy, Giancarlo Ruscitti, who illustrated the centrality of a project like this in the face of the aging of the general population and the need, illustrated also during the +Stati Generali della Montagna series of meetings, that individuals are “responsible for their own health”.
After that, Claudio Dario, the medical director of the Trento Province Healthcare System – who also brought the greetings of general manager Paolo Bordon – highlighted how it is critical now to develop healthy lifestyles in the workplace, precisely to limit the many diseases related to work contexts, while Trento office director Stefania Marconi explained how “Key to Health” enables a comprehensive approach to the world of work-related diseases and prevention as it is now increasingly critical to invest in the future of one’s employees from a health standpoint.
Finally, Paolo Traverso, director of FBK‘s ICT Center concluded by explaining how the Foundation deals with research “linked to the real problems of people, society and institutions”. Hence the decision to join “Key to Health“: “Faced with the gradual aging of the population and a steady increase in chronic diseases – Traverso commented – health must be managed in a new way, no longer only in hospitals, but also at home and in the workplace”. The moderator of this first part was the director of the Province Office for Innovation and Research, Diego Conforti.
After this introduction, works started with a talk on well-being in the workplace and the parameters that determine it held by Giorgio Gosetti, professor at the University of Verona, that was followed by an in-depth analysis of some strategies to motivate workers, using scientifically validated models, by psychologist Valter Spiller.
In the late morning, the “Key to Health” project and some of its main results wee presented.
“Key to Health” is a joint effort of the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Trento Province Healthcare System, Fondazione Bruno Kessler and the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work, with the collaboration of the Trentino 4.0 Competence Center for Digital Health. It developed between 2017 and 2019 with the aim of defining an organizational model suitable for supporting Trentino-based companies’ employees to the end of having them take care of their physical well-being. Health promotion in the workplace falls internationally under the label “Workplace Health Promotion“.
The experimentation phases were two: an early phase at FBK in 2017 and a later phase between the Province Administration and the Healthcare system. Overall, over 1000 workers were invited to participate, of which 258 (25%) responded to the questionnaire which included the measurement of various parameters: body mass Index, abdominal circumference, blood pressure, physical activity, smoking and alcohol, nutrition, analysis data such as triglycerides and glucose levels, motivation.
Of all the participants, 46 workers at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and/or diabetes were selected to join a prevention program with the help of the occupational health physician and a support professional, and of self-monitoring technology (wearable devices and smartphone applications).
The results confirmed the effectiveness of the initiative from a clinical, motivational and organizational standpoint. They also allowed to point out the outcomes of the intervention model developed that companies will be able to adopt freely and at no cost if they wished to carry it out within their organization. Specific operational tools (manual, website, training, etc.) will be made available to organizations on the PAT Trentino Salute website.
The morning ended with a round table discussion, moderated by Corriere del Trentino journalist Enrico Franco, in which representatives of the production, trade union and health prevention sectors organizations of Trentino exchanged views. (at / ml)
- Video testimonies of two “Key to health” project participant“
- Video interview with psychologist Valter Spiller (Genoa)
Video interview with prof. Giorgio Gosetti (University of Verona