Working life network/working life groups

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Leena Ala-Mursula

Research group description

Working life network is active in two lines of research:

I Employment-related epidemiology
Our multidisciplinary international network uses Northern Finland Birth Cohorts following individuals in all sectors of society with lifelong data ranging from genes, environmental and behavioural factors and health to national registers and aims i. to evaluate how employment shapes lifelong health, and ii. how health shapes functioning in working life.

Post doc researchers

Professor Leena Ala-Mursula

PhD students

MD Tuulia Varanka-Ruuska

MD Tomi Koski

MA Jaakko Salovaara

BMed Veronika Hyytiäinen

II New understandings on occupational health
The mixed methods studies in this research line typically emerge in the surrounding networks of educators and practitioners and aim at new understandings on occupational health. Ongoing topics include for example evaluations of work-relatedness in medical encounters and joint return-to-work negotiation practices as well as implementation of biopsychosocial approach in treating low back pain in occupational health services.

Post doc researchers

Professor Leena Ala-Mursula

PhD, MD Katja Ryynänen

PhD students

MD Hanna Keränen

MD Satu Soini

MHealtSci Maija Paukkunen (in University of Linköping, Sweden)

Where are we headed

I Employment-related epidemiology

Theorywise, together with the networking teams we to contribute to the literature by combining occupational epidemiology with life course health models in understanding origins of lifelong health (such as accumulation of risks, sensitive periods, chain effects as well as biopsychosocial approach and other multilevel models). In turn, our multidisciplinary projects aim at wider understanding on well-being- and health-related functioning in working life, including productivity.

In practical terms, we aim at strengthening the potential of Northern Finland Birth Cohorts as an internationally recognized research platform on work and health, as indicated by keeping producing original findings by growing number of incoming researchers, networks and resources for this line of research.

II New understandings on occupational health

Echoing the needs of working life, the results of this research line are swiftly usable in research-based education as well as developmental actions in the health care sector.

By welcoming acute research collaborations we aim to further strengthen the attractiveness and societal impact of University of Oulu as a research and development partner for working life, health services, and medical education, as indicated by the flow of articles and recognizable developments.

Our main collaborators

Professor Sylvain Sebert, Research Unit of Population Health (PopH), University of Oulu

Professor Jouko Miettunen, PopH, University of Oulu

Professor Raija Korpelainen , PopH, University of Oulu

Professor Markku Timonen, PopH, University of Oulu

Professor Juha Auvinen, PopH, University of Oulu

Professor Erika Jääskeläinen, PopH, University of Oulu

Adjunct Professor Nina Rautio, PopH, University of Oulu

PhD MD Ina Rissanen

Professor Jaro Karppinen, Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology , University of Oulu

Professor Marko Korhonen, University of Oulu, School of Economics

Professor Mirka Hintsanen, University of Oulu, Faculty of Education

Professor Jaana Laitinen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Professor Marianna Virtanen, University of Eastern Finland

Professor Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Imperial College, UK

Professor Allan Abbott, University of Linköping, Sweden

Starting 2022: Senior Research Fellow Annie Herbert, University of Bristol, UK

Starting 2022: Professor Tessa Roseboom, PhD Marieke ter Wee-Zaal, Medical Research Center University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

How to find us

Research Unit of Population Health,

P.O.Box 5000, 90014 University of Oulu

visiting address: Aapistie 5 B