How to live to 100 and tell people about it!

by Teresa McGowan

We are all living longer; since 1850, we’ve gained around 2.5 years of life expectancy per decade and it’s estimated that one in three children born today will live to be 100 years old. In Europe there is one retiree for every four people of working age, by 2060 this is expected to rise to one in two.

In our exhibition, ‘How to get to 100 – and enjoy it’, we ask people to explore how our early years, lifestyle, work and where we live can affect our lifespan. Continue reading

Workplace wellbeing is more than just free bananas

by Helen Fitzhugh

What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘workplace wellbeing’? If you automatically think of fruit baskets, free massages and playful Silicon Valley office space, you are not alone.

I know, because I recently spent time listening to the ambitions and fears of business leaders on workplace wellbeing for a study funded by the National Productivity Investment Fund and the ESRC. Continue reading

Mental health, academic life and me

by Matt Flinders

There can be little doubt that mental health is a growing global challenge. And it really is a global challenge. Although rapid rises in relation to depression, anxiety, substance misuse, self-harming and eating disorders have been well-documented in many ‘advanced’ and relatively wealthy countries, it has been estimated that over 80% of those suffering from mental health disorders actually live in the Global South where support is rare.

Seen from this perspective the potential role and impact of the social sciences in terms of helping to understand why the mental health of so many nations seems to be fraying and what might be done has never been greater. I’m not suggesting that it is the role of the social sciences to come up with simple answers to complex problems. But I am suggesting that the complexity of the mental health challenge – with its cultural, economic and political dimensions – demands an inter-disciplinary approach with the social sciences at its core. Continue reading

Collaborating to prevent dementia and advance care for people affected by dementia

by James Dixon

It is World Alzheimer’s Day today and with it comes the rather worn question: are we any closer to preventing or curing dementia? Along with the personal struggle that dementia can bring to any family, it’s a worsening issue as the UK’s population ages and places further strain on a brittle social care system. Newspaper headlines about the next miracle prevention for dementia, whether blueberries or black coffee, are often overblown but behind these stories lie pieces of research taking place across the country and the rest of the world. Continue reading