GAMIFICATION FOR LEARNING IN HEALTH PROMOTION WORK

V. Wiström1, C. Johansson1, A. Svensson 2, U. Högström1

1Stromder AB (SWEDEN)
2University West (SWEDEN)
Today's working life in the production industry is facing major changes and challenges. These changes often place great demands on the knowledge and competence of the individual employee, at the same time as the employee needs to be flexible in the performance of his or her work. Mental illness is increasing in society, and some of it seems to be work-related. The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased pressure on people, working at home with physical isolation from colleagues. Even if companies invest relatively large amounts of resources in their employees’ health and work environment, there is often a lack of follow-up metrics, as well as these effects have on the companies' finances and sustainability. Mobile health applications have now started to be implemented for health promotion for individuals and groups at work, as for example applications with gamification in order to learn how to increase the work-related health. Such applications can motivate participation and engagement for health activities, and support managers in suggesting appropriate activities for the individuals and for the working groups, to promote the health of the employees in companies. Thus, digital solutions can be used to drive organizational learning. However, there is a knowledge gap in how to adapt such gamification applications to promote health of the employees, and to learn about the relationships of the health promotion activities to increased work-related health. Thus, the aim of this paper is to explore how gamification can support learning for sustainable working life and work-related health of employees in the workplace. A qualitative study was conducted as a case study. The results showed an unusually high influx of employees who normally do not participate in health-promoting projects at the workplace. The individuals in this group are also common in the list of employees who run short-term sick leave in the workplace. The person responsible for the project at the employer considered that "this is the best thing we have done during my 15 years at the workplace". The main reason for the statement was that the number of active employees increased in using gamification in a health application for health promotion for individuals at work, the positive feedback the company got from its employees, and the activation of employees who usually do not participate in company-organized activities. Thus, knowledge was developed on how to promote health of the employees.