“To be awarded this prize means very much to me. You invest a lot of energy, and that is because it is fun, exciting and stimulating, but it is certainly very nice to receive such positive response,” David Hallman says.
He would like to underline that the research group here at the University of Gävle is a very stimulating group to work with and that such positive collaboration generates research of a high quality.
“You do not do this on your own; you are a group who work together.”
A research achievement that stands out
When it is awarded for the first time at the University of Gävle, the Royal Skyttean Society prize to younger excellent researchers goes to David Hallman because his research achievement stands out. David defended his dissertation in 2013, became a reader in occupational health sciences in 2016 and has to date published an unusually high number of scientific articles after completing his dissertation.
What distinguishes David Hallman’s research is that he explores how both physical activity and time spent sedentary, at work as well as in our spare time, affect our occupational health. According to Hallman, most research within occupational health sciences focuses on the risks involved in sitting too much in our spare time, or general advantages of physical activity.
Research overlooks the importance of work for our health
Research tends to overlook how important our work is for our health. Undoubtedly, it is definitely very important to be physically active, you live longer then, while a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous. However, this general truth shouldn’t be applied to work in a simplistic manner; sitting at work is not always dangerous and physical activity at work is not always beneficial to our health.
“Interestingly enough, some research indicates that high physical activity at work may be harmful and shorten our lives. These findings are then very dissimilar from findings regarding our spare time; physically activity is always very important then.”
Researchers at Gävle try to find a good balance
Work which is too heavy and monotonous wears us out and gives us neither the opportunity to recover nor the health gains we get from exercising in our spare time, David Hallman explains.
“If your work is heavy, sitting down can give you a chance to recover from those work tasks.”
Recent research adds a new perspective in that it looks at the totality of our day and on how to divide our days into separate parts in a beneficial manner. Researchers now often include our spare time and studies may also include sleep patterns.
“We try to integrate work as a part of life, instead of focusing on work or non-work. It is about finding a balance and finding variation when we do things.”