Several studies have indicated a connection between learning and health. In a recently published study from University West and Linnaeus University the researchers found that the health of school teachers is related to their level of work integrated learning.
A random sample of 229 teachers at 20 schools in Västra Götaland responded to a questionnaire which included previously tested measures of health, quality and work integrated learning. The resulting data showed a highly significant statistical correlation between the measures.
This indicates that in order to be healthy, teachers need not only teach – they must also learn and develop themselves. An ultimate state of learning is characterised by a sensation of flow, which has been described by researchers as a state of complete immersion in an activity in a way that is maximally effective while at the same time highly enjoyable. In the study, was also tested the relationship between an operationalised measure of flow and the health of the teachers and again there were a strong correlation.
According to Yvonne Lagrosen, Associate Professor in Quality Management at University West, a sense of flow implies that the workload is perceived as lower.
Doing something that you are interested in, gives you a positive stimulation and the workload seems less high. At the same time, the challenge cannot be too big, there must be a balance between the demands an your own control of your work situation.
What this research indicates is that to be healthy, we need to constantly learn and develop, in our profession and as people. If we enjoy our work to the extent that we are completely absorbed in it, as in the state of flow, we should have the optimal possibilities for a healthy influence from our work. So find a job that you really enjoy and make sure that you learn and develop at it.
The study was conducted by Yvonne Lagrosen and her fellow researcher and husband Stefan Lagrosen, former researcher at University West, now Professor in Business Administration at Linneaus University.
Work integrated learning for employee health in schools, Stefan Lagrosen, Yvonne Lagrosen, International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 6 Iss: 4, pp.387 – 398, DOI: 10.1108/IJQSS-09-2012-0015.
Source: University West