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Researcher in occupational health sciences awarded the Royal Skyttean Society prize

Press release   •   Apr 10, 2019 10:48 UTC

David Hallman, researcher in occupational health sciences the University of Gävle, is awarded the Royal Skyttean Society prize to younger excellent researchers. The prize is 40 000 SEK.

He would like to underline that the research group here at the University of Gävle is a very stimulating group to work with and that such positive collaboration generates research of a high quality.

“You do not do this on your own; you are a group who work together.”

A research achievement that stands out

When it is awarded for the first time at the University of Gävle, the Royal Skyttean Society prize to younger excellent researchers goes to David Hallman because his research achievement stands out. David defended his dissertation in 2013, became a reader in occupational health sciences in 2016 and has to date published an unusually high number of scientific articles after completing his dissertation.

What distinguishes David Hallman’s research is that he explores how both physical activity and time spent sedentary, at work as well as in our spare time, affect our occupational health. According to Hallman, most research within occupational health sciences focuses on the risks involved in sitting too much in our spare time, or general advantages of physical activity.

Research overlooks the importance of work for our health

Research tends to overlook how important our work is for our health. Undoubtedly, it is definitely very important to be physically active, you live longer then, while a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous. However, this general truth shouldn’t be applied to work in a simplistic manner; sitting at work is not always dangerous and physical activity at work is not always beneficial to our health.

“Interestingly enough, some research indicates that high physical activity at work may be harmful and shorten our lives. These findings are then very dissimilar from findings regarding our spare time; physically activity is always very important then.”

Researchers at Gävle try to find a good balance

Work which is too heavy and monotonous wears us out and gives us neither the opportunity to recover nor the health gains we get from exercising in our spare time, David Hallman explains.

“If your work is heavy, sitting down can give you a chance to recover from those work tasks.”

Recent research adds a new perspective in that it looks at the totality of our day and on how to divide our days into separate parts in a beneficial manner. Researchers now often include our spare time and studies may also include sleep patterns.

“We try to integrate work as a part of life, instead of focusing on work or non-work. It is about finding a balance and finding variation when we do things.”


The Royal Skyttean Society Prize

Every year the Royal Skyttean Society awards a number of prizes to excellent research and cultural activities in Norrland. The oldest prize, the Skyttean Society Prize, was established in 1979.

In 2019, a prize was established for younger excellent researchers at the University of Gävle. The prize will be awarded to a prominent researcher every other year.



David Hallman, reader in occupational health sciences, University of Gävle.
Phone: 073-626 64 13

Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo: Anna Sällberg

Education and Research at a Scenic Campus.
The University of Gävle has approximately 17 000 students, more than 50 study programmes and second-cycle programmes, about 1 000 courses in humanities, social and natural sciences and technology.

Research Profiles
Built Environment and Health-promoting Working Life are the general research profiles of the higher education institution. Important parts included are Spatial Planning with a specialisation in Sustainable Built Environment and Musculoskeletal Disorders with the purpose to prevent work-related injuries. In 2010, the higher education institution received permission to carry out third-cycle programmes in the profile area of Built Environment.
The higher education institution has applied for permission to carry out third-cycle programmes in technology, humanities and social sciences.