Find out more about the project, our aims, funding, and researchers.

What will we do in this study?

SHAW is a three year study in which we will work with employers, employees, professional bodies, and other key stakeholders, to deepen our understanding of how work and health are intertwined in older workers’ everyday lives. The aim of the study is to design innovative workplace interventions to support the health and wellbeing of older workers (aged 50+).


We are partnering with case study organisations in the finance, manufacturing, and social care sectors. We will work with employees aged 50+ in these organisations to explore the sorts of health issues that they face. We are particularly interested in older workers’ experiences of 'hidden health' issues that tend to be overlooked in workplace health interventions, for example:

  • Menopause
  • Cognitive ageing and decline
  • Financial wellbeing
  • Health needs of informal carers

We will also work with a group of older self-employed workers.

What we want to achieve

We will gain an in-depth understanding of the health needs of older workers through our participant interviews throughout autumn and winter of 2021/22. As an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods study, we also draw on large quantitative household survey datasets for statistical evidence on health, finances, and work in later-life.

Once we have gained an in-depth understanding of the health needs of older workers, we will use a co-design approach to involve older workers in the development and testing of a range of workplace health interventions. We will then work with a range of industry partners to promote widespread adoption of these interventions, to help older workers to stay in paid work for longer, and improve their overall wellbeing.

How you can get involved

Follow the conversations and participate in our studies through our social media channels:

More details about participating in this study can be found on our Information for Participants page


Professor Wendy Loretto, Dean of the University of Edinburgh Business School, is leading an inter-disciplinary project team of 20 researchers from the:

  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Newcastle
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Institute of Occupational Medicine
  • VU Amsterdam
  • Age Scotland

To discover more about the team view the Research Team page


The project is supported by a £2 million grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of its Healthy Ageing Challenge (HAC). This Challenge aims to contribute to an extra five years of healthy and independent life by 2035.

SHAW is part of the wider Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme (SBDRP). We are one of seven funded projects under this programme, all of which have the objective to address the Healthy Ageing Challenge. The SBDRP website has more information on the overall programme, our sister projects, and the Healthy Ageing Challenge.

If you would like to find out more about SHAW or participate in our studies then please get in touch by email.

Contact SHAW