“I Get That Spirit in Me”—Mentally Empowering Workplace Health Promotion for Female Workers in Low-Paid Jobs During Menopause and Midlife

Marjolein Verburgh*, Petra Verdonk, Yolande Appelman, Monique Brood-Van Zanten, Karen Nieuwenhuijsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During menopause and midlife, female workers, particularly those in low-paid jobs, experience more occupational health problems than other groups of workers. Workplace interventions are often lacking, however. In the Netherlands, a workplace health promotion intervention—the work–life program (WLP)—has been developed to support female workers. Here, we tailored the WLP to the needs of female workers in low-paid jobs working at Amsterdam University Medical Center. In an exploratory mixed-methods study with a convergent design, among 56 participants, we used questionnaires before and after the intervention and semistructured, in-depth interviews to address the following research question: What is the impact of the WLP on the women’s health and work functioning? Our quantitative data showed that menopausal symptoms improved significantly after the WLP. Our qualitative data, derived from 12 participants, showed that the WLP initiated a process of mental empowerment that initiated positive changes in four domains: behavior, physical health, mental wellbeing, and in the workplace. Taken with caution, our findings suggest that the WLP mentally empowers female workers to make choices that enhance their health and wellbeing, both at work and in their private lives, as summarized in the quote of one participant: “I get that spirit in me!”.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6462
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2020

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