JOINTWORKS Project 2023-2024


The JOINTWORKS Network is not merely a research project; it is a dynamic, forward-thinking initiative aimed at revolutionising how chronic musculoskeletal disorders (CMSDs) are managed in the workplace, particularly for the ageing workforce. Our vision extends beyond the traditional confines of academic research. We built our work on the principle of co-creation, involving those who are directly impacted – the older workers themselves – alongside a diverse range of stakeholders, including occupational healthcare professionals, managers, policy makers and researchers, to work collaboratively on this pressing issue.

Each stakeholder group brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the table. Older workers provide invaluable insights into the lived experience of managing CMSDs at work. Policy makers help align our interventions with current and future employment policies, ensuring they are not only effective but also sustainable and scalable. Healthcare professionals contribute their expertise in managing CMSDs, offering clinical perspectives that enrich our understanding of these conditions. Finally, researchers in occupational health provide the scientific backbone, ensuring that our interventions are evidence-based and effective.

Central to the JOINTWORKS Network is our Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group. By engaging with organisations and charities, we aim to expand the group of older workers ensuring it represents a wide range of perspectives and experiences. This diversity is crucial for developing interventions that are not only effective but also inclusive, catering to the needs of a diverse workforce. Our commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is unwavering, and we believe that a diverse PPIE profile is key to promoting inclusion and ensuring that our interventions support everyone, regardless of their background.

We aim to use participatory system mapping approaches to understand the complex interplay of factors affecting musculoskeletal health at work. This approach will help us identify the most effective, sustainable interventions for supporting employees over the age of 50 with CMSDs in both office and home settings. These interventions will be informed by a comprehensive review of existing strategies in published research and grey literature, as well as the invaluable insights provided by our PPIE group. They will be designed to be adaptable, addressing the unique challenges posed by different work environments. The focus is on practicality and applicability, ensuring that the strategies developed are not only effective but also feasible for implementation in diverse workplace contexts.

We invite you to be part of this exciting journey. By joining the JOINTWORKS Network, you're not just contributing to a research initiative; you're helping shape the future of workplace health and wellbeing for an ageing workforce. Together, we can create a work environment where every individual, regardless of age or health condition, can thrive and contribute meaningfully. Let's turn our vision into reality and pave the way for a healthier, more inclusive future in the workplace.