Plenary Keynote Speaker - Hans Martin Hasselhorn

Prof., Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany

Hans Martin Hasselhorn, MD, is Professor of Occupational Health and head of the Department of Occupational Health Science at the University of Wuppertal ( Before (2009 – 2015), he headed the Division Work and Health at the Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, BAuA in Berlin and from 1999 until 2009 he was senior researcher at Wuppertal University, Germany. From 1992 – 1997 he worked as Occupational Health Physician at the University Hospital Freiburg, followed by a 2 year visit as Marie Curie Scholarship holder at the Stress Research Institute in Stockholm.

HM Hasselhorn has initiated several research projects within the field of “work and employment participation” such as the European Nurses Early Exit Study NEXT, and the German national cohort study on work, age, health and work participation, lidA ( From 2014 - 2015 he coordinated the international project “Understanding Employment Participation of Older Workers”, JPI UEP (

Today, his main research interests are

  • Work, Age and Health: How does work affect health? How does this differ by age, by gender and by occupational group?
  • Work, Age and Work Participation: Which role do work factors play when it comes to early retirement as well as to prolonging working lives? And: How do occupational (social) groups differ in this respect?
  • Conceptualisation of “work and retirement”


The title of his keynote will be “What happens vs. what is” – the notion of “change” in the older workforce.

Much of what we know about work and its relation to health and employment origins from views of static exposures and outcomes: bad working conditions in the past lead to poor health today and in the future. But in working life, we find both static and changing conditions. Changes at work may constitute threats and challenges, but also opportunities. We will look at changes in work and health of the older work force and analyse them with respect to the older workers’ work ability and work participation and organisational intervention potential. The presentation is inspired by the thoughts of the Dutch psychologist Robert A. Roe.