Health & Wellbeing
Health is a high social good that concerns each of us. The 2020 corona pandemic has hit us head on: health and wellbeing are major societal issues and essential to the quality of life of each of us.
Inspired by our mission and driven by our innovative study programmes, committed lecturers and researchers, we are strongly committed to health and wellbeing, and particularly to prevention. Our researchers from various study programmes and disciplines are committed to a good quality of life where physical, mental and social wellbeing go hand in hand.
We focus both on the individual and on adapting the environment, so that the individual can make healthy choices. Companies, schools, cities and municipalities and professionals in the broad health and welfare landscape are also important partners with whom we realize our practice-oriented research.
Extra attention for vulnerable groups
The entire human life cycle is the scope, from baby to elderly. By doing so, we keep vulnerable groups especially in focus. For example, people in lower socio-economic situations often have less access to healthy choices or they live in pathogenic social circumstances. Attention for the strength of each individual drives us, also in the fight against loneliness and social isolation.
We can achieve many of our research ambitions thanks to research resources from the university of applied sciences. But there are still so many more opportunities for research that really makes a difference on the job. We want to continue working with VR applications in health and by means of 'serious games' make people aware, teach them something or stimulate behavioural change. We want to contribute to a healthy lifestyle for modern men based on the challenges of the 21st century.
During the start-up phase, practice-oriented scientific research is often financed with the funds of the university of applied sciences itself. Through the Howest Foundation, we can better spread the results and make the research projects more sustainable. Our researchers dream of building sustainable centres of expertise where they have a place to start working in their field. We want to use social innovation to promote social change. In other words: thanks to your support, we generate more impact!
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- Vital Cities: Through an interdisciplinary research group at Howest with expertise for city and municipality, research is conducted in the field of low-treshold physical activity. Cities that focus on creating a safe, accessible and inviting environment succeed in increasing the physical activity of their citizens.
- Healthy Howest: With 'Healthy Howest' we want to make our staff and students aware of the importance of healthy choices and offer them the possibilty to easily make these choices. 'Healthy choces' obviously include healthy food, but we also pay attention to all the other aspects that influence our health. Both the psysical and the mental and social wellbeing are key elements.
- Healthy Aging: the increasing ageing of the population constitutes one of the major societal challenges of the 21st century. The increasing life expectancy has emphasized the importance of aging in good health. The focus on preventive health is of great importance in this target group to increase the quality of life or keep it optimal as long as possible. In this project, researchers focus on the age group of recent retirees who are transitioning to a new stage of life.
- Sleep Coach - Promoting Healthy Sleep among Employees: a motivational approach: sleep is crucial for our mental and physical functioning, both in the short and in the long term. Researchers explore how to motivate employees to healthy sleep hygiene in a sustainable way.
- Brain Health - Promoting Brain Health through Gaming: through 'Brain Health' we want to set up a 'citizen science project' in which games are used to gain insight into risk factors to support people in keeping their brains healthy.
- International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF): the ICF was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is an emerging framework in the broad sector of wellbeing, health, education and employment. The ICF offers support to map a person's functioning from a holistic point of view. Howest believes in the strengths of the ICF and is developing the ICF-Lab which focuses on three central pillars: education, research and the professional field.