Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Adapting Citizen Science to Improve Health in an Occupational Setting: Preliminary Results of a Qualitative Study


Health interventions often do not reach blue-collar workers. Citizen science engages target groups in the design and execution of health interventions, but has not yet been applied in an occupational setting. This preliminary study determines barriers and facilitators and feasible elements for citizen science to improve the health of blue-collar workers. The study was conducted in a terminal and construction company by performing semi-structured interviews and focus groups with employees, company management and experts. Interviews and focus groups were analyzed using thematic content analysis and the elements were pilot tested. Workers considered work pressure, work location and several personal factors as barriers for citizen science at the worksite, and (lack of) social support and (negative) social culture both as barriers and facilitators. Citizen science to improve health at the worksite may include three elements: (1) knowledge and skills, (2) social support and social culture, and (3) awareness about lifestyle behaviors. Strategies to implement these elements may be company specific. This study provides relevant indications on feasible elements and strategies for citizen science to improve health at the worksite. Further studies on the feasibility of citizen science in other settings, including a larger and more heterogeneous sample of blue-collar workers, are necessary.

Reference van den Berge, M., Hulsegge, G., van der Molen, H. F., Proper, K. I., Pasman, H. R. W., den Broeder, L., Tamminga, S. J., Hulshof, C. T. J., & van der Beek, A. J. (2020). Adapting Citizen Science to Improve Health in an Occupational Setting: Preliminary Results of a Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(14), Article 4917. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144917
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 July 2020

Publication date

Jul 2020


Mandy van den Berge
Gerben Hulsegge
Henk F. van der Molen
Karin I. Proper
H.Roeline W. Pasman
Sietske J. Tamminga
Carel T.J. Hulshof
Allard J. van der Beek


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