Health, Wellness and the Latest Research
Presentation and Discussion

A Salutogenic Approach: The Potential of Green Programs for the Rehabilitation of Young Employees with Burnout

Roald Pijpker, PhD Researcher
PhD Researcher | Health and Society/Rural Sociology Groups
Centre for Space, Place & Society | Wageningen University

Burnout is a complex occupational syndrome affected by factors on multiple levels (i.e. individual, social, ecological, economic, and environmental factors). In the Netherlands, research shows that employees aged between 20–35 years old are particularly prone to developing a burnout and that burnout complaints are the leading cause of absenteeism among employees below the age of 25. Standard guidelines for rehabilitation are based on the principles of cognitive-based therapies, which are important, but suboptimal as they neglect environmental conditions in which burnout develops. At the same time, evidence of (being active in) nature for the rehabilitation of employees with burnout is accumulating. However, many questions are still unanswered. Typical examples of the so-called green programmes are healing gardens, care farms, and green exercise. The emphasis of green programmes lies on the interaction between employees and their specific (work) context, and on employees ability to mobilise and reuse resources within themselves or from their immediate environment. Therefore, rehabilitation from a salutogenic perspective goes beyond the treatment of disease, towards developing one’s ability to participate and be productive in a sustainable and meaningful way. I will present my PhD research project plan about the potential of green programmes for the rehabilitation of young employees with burnout from a salutogenic approach and hope to foster a discussion where we explore together how forest therapies can promote the rehabilitation of young employees with burnout.

Health and Society/Rural Sociology Groups | Centre for Space, Place & Society | Wageningen University & Research

Roald Pijpker is a PhD researcher at the chair group Health and Society at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. He holds a BASc degree in Sport, Health and Management in Nijmegen and obtained an MSc degree in Communication, Health and Life Sciences, at WUR. Roald’s interests lie in (workplace) health promotion and salutogenesis. His current research seeks to understand the potential of green programmes for the rehabilitation of young employees with burnout from a salutogenic approach.