My area of research is intervention and implementation research within the field of worker health, with a special focus on health promotion.
I am an associate professor in worksite health promotion, head of the unit Intervention and Implementation Research in worker health and assistent director of Doctoral Education at IMM.
I am head of the unit for Intervention and Implementation Research in worker health. My research activities are related to intervention and implementation research in the field of worker health. This means that I conduct research on how the health of the working population can be promoted at the workplace and how ill-health can be prevented. This research encompasses a broad range of research activities including gaining knowledge on determinants of health and health behaviour through observational studies, testing the effectiveness of methods targeting these determinants through intervention studies, assessing the methodological quality of measurement instruments through methodological studies and gaining knowledge on how effective interventions can be implemented into practice through implementation research studies.
In addition to being unit head, I also lead a research group. At the moment we have several ongoing research-projects, including the following:
- A large implementation study financed by AFA-insurance, which is being conducted among nineteen public primary schools in Sweden. The aim of the study is to compare the effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy versus a single implementation strategy for implementing the Guideline for the prevention of mental ill-health at the workplace within schools. The effectiveness will be compared with regard to the extent to which the recommendations are implemented within the schools (implementation effectiveness) and with regard to social and organisational risk factors for mental ill-health (intervention effectiveness).
A study on teacher retention financed by FORTE. Teacher retention is a persistent problem for many schools to date. In some municipalities in Sweden as much as 15-25% percent of teachers quit every year, which roughly corresponds to 5 to 10 teacher changes during high-school years. While some turnover is considered necessary and healthy for schools, too much instability is harmful for both students’ results and teachers’ health. There is therefore an urgent need to reduce teacher turnover. The aim of this study is therefore to increase our knowledge on how teacher turnover at schools can be reduced, and which specific strategies are needed for schools to keep their teachers. Based on the results of the project recommendations will be given to decision makers and schools regarding how to minimize teacher turnover. The next step is to develop and evaluate interventions aimed at preventing teacher turnover. None of the research aims of this project have been previously financed.
You can read about some of the other research projects I am involved in here:
Preventing sickness absenteeism among employees with common mental disorders or stress-related symptoms at work: Design of a cluster randomized controlled trial of a problem-solving based intervention versus care-as-usual conducted at the Occupational Health Services.
I am since 2011 course leader of the doctoral course Public Health Intervention and Implementation research at Karolinska Institutet. Moreover, I am course leader of the master course Introduction into program planning and development. I give lectures for undergraduate and graduate programmes on the topic of intervention and implementation research and supervise master-and doctoral students.
For information on the doctoral course Public Health Intervention and Implementation research 2019 please click on the link of the course or on the link of the doctoral program in Public Health Sciences
Master in Health Sciences, specialized in Health Education and Promotion and Biological Health Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Doctoral degree in Health Sciences. Title: the NHF-NRG-In Balance-project: development, implementation and evaluation of a weight gain prevention program. Academic institution: Maastricht University, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Human Biology, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Arapovic-Johansson, B., Wåhlin, C., Hagberg, J., Kwak, L., Axén, I., Björklund C., Jensen I. Experience of stress assessed by text messages and its association with objective workload – a longitudinal study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020; 17:680.
Boström, M., Björklund, C., Bergström, G., Nybergh, L., Schäfer Elinder, L., Stigmar, K., Wåhlin, C., Jensen, I., Kwak, L. Health and work organization experiences among Swedish teachers in elementary school - a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020; 17(1):227.
Nørregaard Rasmussen, CD., Højberg, L., Konring Larsen, A., Kold Munch, P., Osborne, RH., Kwak, L., Jensen, I., Linnan, L., Birk Jørgensen, M. Evaluation and dissemination of a checklist to improve implementation of work environment initiatives in the eldercare sector - Study Protocol. JMIR Research Protocols, 2020.
Kwak, L., Lornudd, C., Björklund, C., Bergström, G., Nybergh, L., Schäfer Elinder, L., Stigmar, K., Wåhlin, C., Jensen, I. Implementation of the Swedish Guideline for Prevention of Common Mental Disorders at the Workplace, in Schools: Study Protocol of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial, Using Multifaceted Implementation Strategies. BMC Public Health, 2019; 19 (1):1668.
Grimani, A, Aboagye, E, Kwak, L. The impact of worksite nutrition and physical activity interventions on productivity, work performance and workability: A Systematic Review. BMC Public Health, 2019; 1676
Björk Brämberg, E., Sandman, L., Hellman T., Kwak, L. Facilitators, barriers and ethical values related to the coordination of return-to-work among employees on sick leave due to common mental disorders – a protocol for a qualitative study (The CORE-project). BMJ Open, 2019; 17: 9(9).
Leitari, N., Kremers, S.P.J., Hagberg, J., Björklund, C. Kwak, L. Associations between job-strain, physical activity, health status and sleep quality among Swedish municipality workers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2018; Dec 11. PMID: 30540651.
Björk Brämberg, E., Jensen, I., Kwak, L. Nation-wide implementation of a national policy for evidence-based rehabilitation facilitating return to work - a survey of perceived use, facilitators and barriers. Disability and Rehabilitation, 2018;4:1-9. PMID: 30286664.
Dohrn I., Sjöström, M., Kwak, L., Oja, P., Hagströmer, M. Replacing sedentary time with physical activity: a 15-year follow-up of mortality in a national cohort. Clinical Epidemiology, 2018; 10: 179-186. PMID: 29416378.
Arapovic-Johansson, B., Wåhlin C., Hagberg J., Kwak, L., Björklund, C., Jensen, J. Participatory work place intervention for stress prevention in primary health care. A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 2018; 27(2): 219-234.
Bergsten, E.L., Mathiassen, S.E., Larsson, J. & Kwak L. Implementation of an ergonomic intervention in a Swedish flight baggage handling company - A process evaluation. Plos One, 2018; 13 (3). PMID: 29513671.
Dohrn I., Sjöström, M., Kwak, L., Oja, P., Hagströmer, M. Accelerometer-measured sedentary time and physical activity - a 15 year follow-up of mortality in a Swedish population-based cohort. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports and Exercise, 2018; 21 (7): 702-707. PMID: 29128418.
Aboagye, E. Hagberg, J., Axén, I., Kwak, L., Lohela-Karlsson, M., Skillgate, E., Dahlgren, G., Jensen, I. Individual preferences for physical exercise as secondary prevention for non-specific low back pain: A discrete choice experiment. Plos One, 2017; 12 (12). PMID: 29244841.
Axén, I. Kwak L, Hagberg, J., Jensen, I. Does physical activity buffer insomnia due to back and neck pain? Plos One, 2017; 12 (9). PMID: 28931026.
Bergsten, E.L., Kwak L., Vingård, E., Mathiassen, S.E., Daily shoulder pain among flight baggage handlers and its association with work tasks and upper arm postures on the same day. Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 2017; 61(9): 1145-1153. PMID: 29136416.
Bergström, G., Lohela-Karlsson, M., Kwak, L., Bodin, L., Jensen, I., Torgén, M., Nybergh, L. Preventing sickness absenteeism among employees with common mental disorders or stress-related symptoms at work: Design of a cluster randomized controlled trial of a problem-solving based intervention versus care-as-usual conducted at the Occupational Health Services. BMC Public Health, 2017; 1217(1):436. PMID: 28494753.
Arapovic-Johansson, B., Wåhlin C., Kwak, L., Björklund, C., Jensen, J. Work-related stress assessed by a text message single-item stress question. Occupational Medicine, 2017; 67(8): 601-608. PMID: 29016877
Björk Brämberg, E., Bergström, G., Jensen, I., Hagberg, J. & Kwak, L. Effects of yoga, strength training and advice on back pain: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2017; 18 (1):132. PMID: 28356091.
Leavy, B., Kwak, L., Hagströmer, M., Franzén, E. Evaluation and implementation of highly challenging balance training in clinical practice for people with Parkinson's disease: protocol for the HiBalance effectiveness-implementation trial. BMC Neurology, 2017; 17(27). PMID: 28173775.
Björk Brämberg, E., Nyman, T., Kwak, L., Alipour A., Bergström; G., Schäfer Elinder, L., Hermansson, U., Jensen, I. Development of evidence-based practice in occupational health services in Sweden. A 3-year follow-up of attitudes, barriers and facilitators. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2017; 90 (4): 335-348. PMID: 28204870.
Kwak, L., Wåhlin, C., Stigmar, K., Jensen, I. Developing a practice guideline for the occupational health services through a community of practice: description and evaluation of the guideline development process. BMC Public Health, 2017;17 (89). PMID: 28100201.
Martinsson, C., Lohela Karlsson, M., Kwak, L., Bergström, G., Hellman, T. What incentives influence employers to engage in workplace health interventions? BMC Public Health, 2016; 16 (854). PMID: 27552912.
Kwak, L., Berrigan, D., Van Domelen, D., Sjöström, M. & Hagströmer, M. Examining differences in physical activity levels by employment status and/or job activity level: Gender-specific comparisons between the United States and Sweden. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports and Exercise, 2016:19(6); 482-487. PMID:26095371.
Hagströmer, M., Kwak, L., Oja, P. & Sjöström, M. A 6-year longitudinal study of accelerometer-measured physical activity and sedentary time in Swedish adults. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports and Exercise, 2015:18(5); 553-557. PMID:25277849.
Kwak, L., Hagströmer, M., Jensen, I. Lohela-Karlsson, M., Alipour, A. & Schäfer-Elinder, L. Promoting physical activity and healthy dietary behaviour. The role of the occupational health services: a scoping review. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2014: 56 (1); 35-46. PMID:24351888.
Cook, T.L., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Maes, L., Haerens, L., Grammatikaki, E., Widhalm, K., Kersting, M., Kwak, L., Plada, M., Moreno, L.A. & Manios, Y. on behalf of the HELENA group. Moderators of the effectiveness of a web-based tailored intervention promoting physical activity in adolescents: the HELENA Activ-O-Meter. Journal of School Health, 2014: 84 (4); 256-266. PMID: 24617909.
Cook, T.L., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Maes, L., Haerens, L., Grammatikaki, E., Widhalm, K., Kwak, L., Plada, M., Moreno, L.A., Tountas, Y., Zampelas, A. & Manios, Y. on behalf of the HELENA group. Psychosocial determinants and perceived environmental barriers as mediators of the effectiveness of a web-based tailored intervention promoting physical activity in adolescents: the HELENA Activ-O-Meter. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2014: 11(4) 741-751. PMID:23676337.
Ortega, F.B., Ruiz, J.R., Labayen, I., Hurtig-Wennlöf, A., Harro, J., Kwak, L., Oja, L., Merenäkk, L., Veidebaum, T. & Sjöström, M. Role of socio-cultural factors on changes in fitness and adiposity in youth: A 6-year follow-up study. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, 2013; 23(9):883-890. PMID: 22795868.
Hagströmer, M., Ainsworth, B.E., Kwak, L. & Bowles, H.R. A checklist for evaluating the methodological quality of validation studies on self-reported instruments for physical activity and sedentary behavior. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2012; Jan 9 (Suppl 1):S29-36. PMID: 22287445.
Kwak, L., Hagströmer, M. & Sjöström, M. Can the IPAQ-L be used to assess occupational physical activity? Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2012: Nov 9(8); 1130-7. PMID: 22207150.
Ortega, F.B., Ruiz, J.R., Labayen, I., Kwak, L., Harro, J., Oja, L., Veidebaum, T. & Sjöström, M. Sleep duration and activity levels in Estonian and Swedish children and adolescents. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2011 Oct: 111(10); 2615-23. PMID:21380543.
Kwak, L., Proper, K.I., Hagströmer, M. & Sjöström, M. The repeatability and validity of questionnaires assessing occupational physical activity - a systematic review. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health, 2011 Jan: 37(1);6-29. PMID: 20802979.
Ruiz, J.R., Ortega, F.B., Castillo, R., Martín-Matillas, M., Kwak, L., Vicente-Rodríguez, G., Noriega, J., Tercedor, P., Sjöström, M. & Moreno, L.A. Physical Activity, Fitness, Weight Status and Cognitive Performance in Adolescents; The AVENA Study. Journal of Pediatrics, 2010: 157 (6); 917-22. PMID:20673915.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Candel, M.J.J.M, Visscher, T.L.S., Brug, J. & van Baak, M.A. Changes in skinfold thickness and waist circumference after 12 and 24 months resulting from the NHF-NRG In Balance-project. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2010: 7 (7); 26. PMID:20370934.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Bergman P, Ruiz, J.R., Rizzo, N.S. & Sjöström, M. Associations between physical activity, fitness, and academic achievement. Journal of Pediatrics, 2009:155 (6); 914-8. PMID:19643438.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Visscher, T.L.S., van Baak, M.A. & Brug, J. Behavioural and cognitive effects of a worksite-based weight gain prevention program: The NHF-NRG In Balance-project. Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, 2009: 51 (12); 1437-46. PMID:19952793.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Brug, J. & van Baak, M.A. Measuring physical activity in field studies: comparison of a questionnaire, 24h recall and accelerometer. European Journal of Sport Science, 2007: 7 (4); 193-201.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., van Baak, M.A., & Brug, J. A poster-based intervention to promote stair use in blue-and white-collar worksites. Preventive Medicine, 2007: 45; 177-81. PMID: 17610944.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Werkman, A. Visscher, T.L.S., van Baak, M.A., & Brug, J. The NHF-NRG In Balance-project: the application of Intervention Mapping in the development, implementation and evaluation of weight gain prevention at the worksite. Obesity Reviews, 2007: 8; 347-61. PMID:17578384.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., van Baak, M.A., & Brug, J. Formation of implementation intentions promotes stair use. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2007: 32; 254-5. PMID:17241761.
Werkman, A., Schuit, A.J., Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Visscher, T.L.S., Kok, F.J., & Schouten, E.G. Study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of a tailored energy balance program for recent retirees. BMC Public Health, 2006: 6; 293. PMID:17147832.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., van Baak, M.A., & Brug, J. Participation rates in worksite-based intervention studies: health promotion context as a crucial quality criterion. Health Promotion International, 2006: 21; 66-9. PMID:16339773.
Kwak, L., Kremers, S.P.J., Walsh, A., & Brug, J. How is your walking group running? Health Education, 2006:106; 21-31.