Web course Sustainable working life for all ages

Open web course in a sustainable working life for all ages


The course is based on the swAge model (Sustainable working life for all ages) and is developed in an intervention project with managers and HR-departments, funded by AFA insurance. 


The course contains knowledge that is important to know and reflect on, both for managers and employees, for example health and risk factors in the working environment, determinant areas of importance to be able and want to work, employability, as well as how working life needs to be sustainable for all ages.


New lectures are published every week, like and subscribe to our Youtube channel to ensure that you do not miss any lectures. 


Navigate in the left hand menu or scroll down to watch the online lectures that are part of the course. Good luck!

  1. Introduction to a sustainable working life for all ages

Watch this introductory lecture on the swAge model, then continue with the following videos to deepen your knowledge of how to build a sustainable working life for all ages, and why this is needed.

2. Work and health: The human in the work environment

To put this web course into context, we encourage you to watch this lecture containing a brief history as well as information regarding work, health and leadership.


Consider and reflect after the lecture:

  • What significance does an individuals’ health and well-being have for their own activities?
  • What significance does an individuals’ health have for the workplace, the organisation or company where they are employed?
  • Does health have equal or inequal significance to the organisation or company depending on the occupation, position or age of the individual?
  • What significance does the citizens health have for society?

3. Introduction to the swAge model

The swAge model (Sustainable Working life for all Ages) is a theoretical model regarding determinant factors and measures to enable a sustainable working life for all ages.


The swAge model includes:


Nine determinant areas for being able and wanting to work: The model visualizes the nine different determination areas for being able and wanting to work, which are described in more detail in future lectures.


Four spheres of determination for a sustainable working life: The spheres of determination will be described in detail in future lectures. The four spheres of determination relate to the four considerations that individuals make in order to continue working or leave the workplace. The four areas of determination also show the areas where measures need to be taken to make working life sustainable for all ages.


Age: The model also shows how the nine determinant areas for a sustainable working life relate to different ways of defining age.


The swAge model is used in many workplaces as a tool for reflection in the organization of work, in management, in the exercise of authority, in the distribution of work, in employee interviews, to organize the systematic work environment management, etc.


4. Being able to and wanting to work

Have you considered the difference between being able to do something and wanting to do something?


Just because you want to do one thing, it is not certain that you are able to.

And even if you can, it is not certain that you want to.

What affects whether we can work or not?

And what influences whether we want to work or not?

Consider and reflect after the lecture:

  • What makes you being able to work?
  • What makes you want to work?

Age and aging matter in working life. We all have an age. But you can define age in different ways.


This lecture addresses four different ways of defining age and how these are important for a sustainable working life for all ages.

5. Age and ageing in working life


Consider and reflect after the lecture:

  • What is your age, based on the four ways of defining age described in the lecture?

6. Considerations to remain in or to leave working life

Individuals make four considerations when deciding whether to work in an extended working life or not.

When you are faced with big decisions in life, you make different considerations.

There are often pros and cons, and these are weighed against each other before making the decision.

The same applies when considering staying at a workplace or leaving the workplace.

Consider and reflect after the lecture:

  • What in your work situation counts for you being able to and wanting to stay in working life?
  • What in your work situation counts for you possibly being able to and wanting to leave working life ?
  • What in your co-workers work situation counts for them being able to and wanting to stay in working life

7. Health, diagnoses, functional diversity

7.1 Health and health definitions

Health is a broad term that can be defined in different ways. The perception of health has changed through the years. This lecture is about health, definitions of health and supportive environments that promote health.  

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions: 

  • Where are you situated in the dual continuum model of health?
  • At what occasions have you been in the different areas of the dual continuum model of health?
  • Does your surroundings share your perception of where you are situated in the dual continuum model of health?
  • When do you experience your health at its’ best?
  • In what supportive environment are you at those times, and what constitutes your supportive environment in these occasions?
  • Are there and/or can supportive environments for health be created in your surroundings?
  • Do you contribute to someone elses’ supportive environment for health?

7.2 Breathing and circulatory organs

Our bodies' functions are vital in order to be able to work. Our bodies' functions are affected by our work and also affects our biological ageing. 

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • Does your oxygen uptake capacity, breathing and circulation matter to your work?
  • Are there different demands of oxygen uptake capacity, breathing and circulation for different occupations, based on work tasks and occupational demands?
  • Does demands of oxygen uptake capacity, breathing and circulation vary for male and female employees, and for employees of different ages?

7.3 Skeleton, joints, muscles and nerves

The possibility to work is affected by the capacity in skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and sensory organs. At the same time our work, work load, movements and postures affect our skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, sensory organs and the biological ageing. 

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • How do you work in your physical work environment, based on your physical conditions and capacity regarding skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and sensory system?
  • How does your co-workers in the workplace work based on their physical conditions and capacity regarding skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves and sensory system?
  • Does this vary in different ages?

7.4 Stress reactions

The body's reactions to stress is one of the most common reasons for sickness absence and ill health in today's society. 

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • What stressors do You experience as the most demanding in Your work?
  • What do You do to unwind and recuperate after extensive or long term stress?
  • What stressors in the workplace do You believe to be the most demanding for your co-workers?
  • How can you support your co-workers to wind down after periods or situations of extensive or long-term stress in the work place?

8. The physical work environment

8.1 Physical work environment and work load

The physical work environment affects the wear on the body and the biological ageing. This lecture is about how physical work loads affects the body based on the physical work environment. 

This lecture will be available on August 11th

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • What does your physical work environment look like?
  • Do you prevent the risks that are present, and which you are subjected to, in your physical environment?
  • What does the physical work environment look like for your co-workers?
  • Is there a present risk of accidents, repetitive strain injury or occupational disease due to the work load and physical work environment in the work place?
  • How can the work be changed and organised in your work place to prevent the risk of accidents, repetitive strain injury or occupational disease due to the work load and physical work environment for you and your co-workers?

8.2 The design of the physical work place

The design of the physical work place is of great importance in order for the physical work environment to be sustainable. This lecture is about the design of the physical work place.

This lecture will be available on August 18th

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • Is your physical working environment adjusted to your body’s dimensions, needs and abilities?
  • Are your co-workers physical work environment adjusted to their bodies’ dimensions, needs and abilities?
  • How can you prevent issues in the physical work environment in the work place?
  • Do you have access to and use different technical and ergonomic aids to prevent work place injuries?
  • Could you, in your work place, take more or other measures in order to prevent physical work environment issues?

9. Mental work environment

9.1 The mental work environment and stress

The design of the mental work environment is important to the experience of stress, demands and control of the work situation. This lecture is about the mental work environment and stress. 

This lecture will be available on August 25th

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • What stressors are the most demanding in your mental work environment?
  • What stressors are the most demanding in your different co-workers individual mental work environment?

9.2 Promoting a healthy mental work environment

How can one promote a healthy mental work environment in the work place? This lecture is about promoting a healthy mental work environment. 

This lecture will be available on September 1st

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • What can be done about strenuous stressors in your mental work environment?
  • What can be done about the most strenuous stressors in your co-workers individual mental work environment?

10. Working time, work pace and recuperation

10.1 Working hours, work pace and recuperation

The working hours, work pace and the possibility for sufficint time for recuperation between and during work shifts are of great importance to a sustainable working life for all ages. This lecture is about working hours, work pace and recuperation.

This lecture will be available on September 8th

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • How do you best recuperate from your:

    Physical activities?

    Mental/cognitive activities?

  • Do you have sufficient time for recuperation in relation to your  time for activity?

10.2 Measures for recuperation

The possibility for recuperation is significant in order to cope with one's work and feel well, heal and not be subjected to ill health. This lecture is about measures for recuperation. 

This lecture will be available on September 15th

After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

  • Are there variations in the physical work pace and in work tasks that contribute to recuperation during a day at work for your employees?
  • Are there variations in the mental/cognitive work pace and in work tasks that contribute to recuperation during a day at work for your employees?
  • What changes in the work schedule could increase the possibility of recuperation for your employees?
  • What changes in working hours could increase the possibility of recuperation for your employees?

    11. Personal financial situation and financial incentives

    11.1 Economics and financial incentives

    Our personal financial situation is a significant reason to why we work, as well as to our social welfare and chronological ageing. This lecture is about economics and financial incentives. 

    This lecture will be available on September 22nd

    After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

    • What measures are taken in your workplace to enable financial security for employees?
    • Do they work, or are other measures possible?

    11.2 Employability

    Employability is of great importance in order to be able to remain in working life and thereby receive a salary.   

    This lecture will be available on September 29th

    After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

    • What could be causes of risks, work injuries and sickness absence in your work place?
    • Are there measures the manager can take in order to increase the possibility of the employees…
      Remaining employable in changes, reorganisations and replacements?
      Being able to execute their work tasks in a better way?
      Performing based on the needs of the organisation?
      Having correct and sufficient competence?
      Feeling secure and a sense of participation in the organisation?
      Being motivated and stimulated to contribute to the execution and development of the organisation and productivity?
      Not contracting ill health through work?

    11.3 The personal financial situation

    We all age, become older and closer to the age of retirement for every day that goes by. But how does retirement affect the personal financial situation? 

    This lecture will be available on October 6th

    After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

    • How much money do I need in order to live the way I want to?

    • What do I want to be able to afford?
    • What do I absolutely not want to give up?
    • What can I give up?

    12. Support and sense of community

    12.1 Personal social environment

    What our personal social situation is like, with family, partner and friends affects our ability and wish to work. This lecture is about the personal social environment. 

    This lecture will be available on October 13th

    After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

    • In performance reviews, do you bring up the balance between working life and personal life based on the employee’s different needs and different ages?
    • When evaluating risks in the work environment, do you consider the employees’ personal social situation?
    • Does any of your co-workers spend more time tending to work tasks than expected, based on the working hours, risking that the personal life may suffer?
    • Does any of your co-workers spend more time tending to their personal social situation than expected, based on the working hours, risking that work tasks may suffer?

      12.2 Priorities and boundaries between work and personal life

      Achieving a satisfying balance between working life and personal life is not always an easy task. This lecture is about priorities and boundaries between work and personal life. 

      This lecture will be available on October 20th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • Have you, during different social ages, had needs of spending more time at work than expected based on your working hours, so that your personal life risk suffering?
      • Have you, during different social ages, had needs of spending more time at your personal life than expected based on your working hours, so that your working life risk suffering?
      • How do you experience your possibilities of keeping a personal social life, compared to work, right now?

      12.3 Social work environment

      To want to work we need to experience a social environment in the work place where we feel secure and not exposed to disregard due to our social age or for any other reason. The manager has an important role in the social environment in the work place. This lecture is about the social work environment. 

      This lecture will be available on October 27th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • What leadership style do you practice?
      • Do you consciously use any theoretical model when you manage and divide work in your organisation?
      • Does the swAge-model work as a frame of reference and reflection in your leadership

      12.4 Managers' attitudes and their effect on employees' working lives

      The manager has great importance for the possibility of a sustainable working life for all ages. It is the managers task to manage and divide work tasks, and contribute to everyone feeling included in the social work environment. 

      This lecture will be available on November 3rd

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • What affects how long a manager is able to and wants to work?
      • Why are there stereotypes and preconceptions regarding older employees?
      • Do the managers’ and the employees’ perception regarding what increases the possibility of a sustainable extended working life differ?
      • What would increase the employees’ possibility of working until an older age in your workplace?

      12.5 Group dynamics

      A sense of community in the work team, feeling included, seen for who you are and a sense of participation is important for the wish to be in the work place. Power, division of power and conflicts occur in all groups. This lecture is about group dynamics. 

      This lecture will be available on November 10th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • What are the group dynamics like in your workplace?
      • Are there individuals in your workplace that notoriously use master suppression techniques?
      • Are there, or are there risks of disregard or discrimination based on the grounds for discrimination in your workplace?
      • How are conflicts managed in your workplace?

      12.6 Social support in the work place

      Experiencing support from managers, co-workers, employees, customers, clients, patients, students and other people one may meet in the daily work is important in order to want and be able to work and remain in a work place and working life. This lecture is about social support in the work place. 

      This lecture will be available on November 17th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      What is the social support in your workplace like between:

      • Management and managers
      • Management and employees
      • Managers and employees
      • Employees and managers
      • Employees and employees
      • How can the social support be increased in Your workplace?

      13. Execution of work tasks

      13.1 The organisation of work and its' effect on work tasks and activities

      The organisation of work is meaningful for the employees' execution of their work tasks and activities at work. Experiencing well-being, motivation and stimulation through work tasks and activities is fundamental for the wish to work. This lecture is about the organisation of work and its' effect on tasks and activities at work.  

      This lecture will be available on November 24th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • What organisational model dominates in Your work place?
      • Does this organisational model contribute to employees experience of their work as stimulating and motivating and to execute their work tasks and activities?
      • What motivates and stimulates You in Your occupation?
      • What increases/would increase your own motivation for work tasks?
      • What influences/would increase the effect of the work tasks on the wish to work until an older age?

      13.2 Work satisfaction and motivation

      Experiencing meaningfulness, motivation and stimulation in work tasks is significant in order for people's wish to work. This lecture is about work satisfaction and motivation. 

      This lecture will be available on December 1st

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • How do You provide motivation and stimulation for Your employees?
      • Is it possible to increase the experience of meaningfulness, manageability, comprehensibility of the work task?
      • Do you use nudging and empowerment?
      • Does everyone in the work team understand how their work task and work effort contributes to the goals and vision:
        In the work place
        In the work team
        In the organisation/enterprise
        In society
      • Are there possibilities for employees to manage own areas of responsibility?

      13.3 Knowledge and competence

      In order to execute their work tasks, people need sufficient ability, knowledge and competence. Cognitive ageing affects learning and memory. This lecture is about knowledge and competence. 

      This lecture will be available on December 8th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • Do I have sufficient skills and competence to remain in working life?
      • Would my possibilities and wish to extend my working life increase if I had the possibility of developing my competence?
      • Do all employees in my work place have the same possibility of receiving new knowledge and participate in new projects, despite their age?

      13.4 Learning in the organisation

      Throughout the duration of their working life, individuals need to learn new things and skills in order to remain employable, since society, organisations and enterprises change constantly. This lecture is about learning in the organisation.  

      This lecture will be available on December 15th

      After you have watched the lecture, please take a few moments to consider and reflect on the following questions:

      • Are there possibilities for employees to learn new things in your workplace?
      • Does the competence development of your workplace take into account that the cognitive functions, learning and memory change as we age?