Because of changing social, school and economic conditions, pupils face new challenges regarding physical and mental health. On the background of globalization, technical change and the development of the fourth industrial (r)evolution (in Germany called Industrie 4.0), not only technology but also humans, must become more and more efficient, flexible and faster.
Despite all the positive aspects this change includes, there is also a negative impact on our everyday life at school and work. Current studies show for instance that – as a result of the digitization of almost every section of our life – people more and more suffer from back- and headache due to long sitting and from vision disorders due to working at a monitor for too long.
The constant availability regarding job issues is a burden to the employee’s private life. This leads to the point that the work-life balance is unsettled, which can lead to the fact that even students suffer from burnout syndrome and feeling overburdened by the school, work and family. In order to escape the challenges of everyday life, some students stay away from school and accumulate absences, especially during exam periods. Others are retreat into the digital world or become addicted.
The project “Health 4.0 – Health in school also means health in professional life”, is intended to start here in order to give pupils at a vocational school suggestions and concepts by they can stay healthy in time of industry 4.0. Even at an early stage students should learn that nutrition, training, self-responsibility, stress and time management can help to stay healthy in the increasingly fast –paced world.
The five partners from Austria, Luxembourg, Poland, Norway and Germany are all vocational schools. Every single school has already recognized the problem and is working on this with different focuses. This project aims to link the already existing concepts of the individual schools and to create a holistic health concept for students, focused on the changing society.
The focus will be on a special break concept, in order to provide students opportunities for physical activity during the whole day at vocational school. A nutritional concept based on fresh fruit and healthy eating is also part of the concept. An essential element of this concept includes teachers as models for a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, theories and models should also be taken into consideration in order to rethink and, if necessary, adapt behaviour.
Teacher’s health shouldn’t play an insignificant role.
In the long term, this project will help to develop and establish a holistic health concept to prevent the negative effects on health caused by industry 4.0 and to encourage other schools to implement it.