Our Research and Projects

Active Projects

We developed research projects based on the model and framework that investigate various aspects of the relationships between work environment factors, need satisfaction, and health and well-being.


ICHW as Aggregator

Literature Review: Environmental Variables and Organizational Outcomes

Key Investigators: Caitlin DeClercq, PhD, Max Pittman, Sally Augustin, PhD, Cristina Banks, PhD

The built environment is a research area virtually unexplored within Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology, despite having a major demonstrated influence on work behaviors. In this review, we focus on how the physical environment influences ten major I/O points of research: health and well-being, comfort, absenteeism, stress, burnout, performance, attention, creativity, satisfaction, and organizational commitment.

Literature Review: Health Impacts of Sedentary Behavior in the Workplace

Key Investigators: Victor Villalobos, DrPHCaitlin DeClercq, PhD, Isabelle Thibau, MPH

Given what we know about the perils of prolonged sitting to health (and, conversely, the benefits of physical movement to creativity, memory, cognition, and mental health), we aim in this literature review to contextualize the current science regarding sedentary behavior within the specific context of knowledge workers in office settings. There is a growing interest in the impact of sedentary behaviors (SB) in health and productivity. SB has been proposed as a factor that affects human physiology through different pathways than moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). It has been hypothesized that the [potential] detrimental effects of SB cannot be undone with just more MVPA. The objectives of this project are to evaluate the physiological consequences of SB, to explore potential mechanisms to ameliorate or reverse such effects, and to develop a typology to implement such mechanisms in workplaces.

Literature Review: Health Technology in the Workplace

Key Investigators: Helen Lee, David Lindeman, PhD

The goal of this literature review is to identify evaluation-based products that can induce behavior change amongst occupants in the workplace. There are numerous wearable products, applications, and other technology flooding the marketplace that claim to help improve worker health and well-being, but little empirical data backing these claims. Through extensive literature searches of multiple databases, the research team was able to identify and elucidate empirical research on seven health technology categories: fitness, eating, safety/prevention, mental health, brain functioning, restoration, and connections.

Literature Review: Physiological Effects of the Workplace

Key Investigators: Ines Ivanovic, John Edward Swartzberg, MD, F.A.C.P.

The HealthyWorkplaces team is currently investigating ways the physical workplace environment physiologically affects occupants. These elements include stress, sedentary behavior (lack of exercise), the spreading of infectious diseases, nutrition in the workplace, and sleep. 


ICHW as Convener

Book - Science to Practice Series: How to Build the Best Workplace for Health and Well-Being

This is a first in a series of books in the Science to Practice Series, which we hope will fund the center.  This book will include the transcriptions of the presentations given by speakers at the May 4, 2017 Science to Practice series conference and the workbook that was given to conference participants.

The International Conference of Experts

HealthyWorkplaces is soliciting funding for a conference that will bring together experts who can speak to worker health and well-being issues with the intent of bringing about a holistic understanding of the contributors to worker health and well-being.


ICHW as Catalyst

Health Impacts of Alternative Work Arrangements: A Longitudinal Study

Key Investigators: Ed Yelin, PhD, Cristina Banks, PhD, Laura Stock, Ken Jacobs

HealthyWorkplaces has submitted a proposal to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to develop a comprehensive survey of the nature of contemporary working conditions, work arrangements, and health status in a random sample of working age adults assessed two years apart. The results of this survey will subsequently be compared to results of a similar survey administered by investigators two decades ago to gauge the magnitude of change in employment practices and risks to worker health.

Designing the Healthy Office: How Individuals Define and Envision Healthy Workplaces

Key Investigators: Caitlin DeClercq, PhD, Isabelle Thibau, MPH, Cristina Banks, PhD

ICHW, in collaboration with the College of Environmental Design, has created a research paradigm which allows participants to design workspaces based on seven core psychological drivers of well-being: connection, comfort, flexibility, equity, privacy, predictability, and security.  This study is now being continued in partnership with HGA Architects and focuses on the "Gen Z" population.

Environmental Factors Contributing to Sexual Harassment in Academic Institutions of Higher Education

Key Investigators: Carolyn Winslow, PhDIsabelle Thibau, MPHCristina Banks, PhD

The goal of this qualitative research study is to systematically identify environmental factors contributing to the occurrence of sexual harassment in academic institutions of higher education. Specifically, members of the UC Berkeley campus community are being asked to answer a series of structured interview questions about their experiences with sexual harassment incidents that they either personally experienced or observed at UC Berkeley or as members of another academic campus community. It is our hope that the results of this study will contribute to both theory and best practices for understanding and mitigating sexual harassment in organizational contexts.  This study is supported by the PATH to Care Center at UC Berkeley.

Exploring Basic Psychological Needs and Health Among Academics

Key Investigators: Siw Tone Innstrand, PhDChristina Maslach, PhDCristina Banks, PhD

This study investigates the relationship between need satisfaction and positive and negative health. The dataset comes from a survey administered in several colleges and universities in Norway, led by a visiting scholar at Berkeley, Siw Tone Innstrand.  Innstrand, along with Christina Maslach and Cristina Banks, examined the scales used in the survey designed to examine engagement for academics, administrators, and graduate students, and several outcomes including health. 

Exploratory Study of the Impact of Images and Sound on Knowledge Worker Need Satisfaction and Productivity

Key Investigators: Cristina Banks, PhD, Carolyn Winslow, PhD, Isabelle Thibau, MPH, Sally Augustin, PhD

The goal of this study is to identify the ideal parameters for biophilic images and sound in order to maximize positive emotions and focus/concentration in knowledge workers.  Knowledge workers can perform their best work under conditions that support their basic human needs.

Graduate Student Experience Impact on Health and Academic Success

Key Investigators:  Isabelle Thibau, MPHCristina Banks, PhD, Siw Tone Innstrand, Iris Ananthset, Fran Kipnis

This study consisted of a survey administered to graduate students at UC Berkeley examining the relationships between elements in their study environment, satisfaction of needs, and study outcomes and satisfaction. The results were analyzed to understand what graduate students need in their study environments to be successful, and how their work environments affect their health, well-being, and work.  The researchers have partnered with the Norwegian university NTNU to administer the survey to students at both universities and to compare results.  The research is ongoing.

Understanding Healthy Workplaces: Cross-cultural Comparisons between Norway and the United States

Key Investigators: Siw Tone Innstrand, PhDChristina Maslach, PhDCristina Banks, PhDKirsi Heikkilä-Tammi, PhD

This cross-cultural project has been awarded a Peder Sather Grant in the amount of $25,000 to develop an improved survey tool (a Healthy Workplace Index) as well as an integrated and comprehensive model of healthy universities. Having worked together on the “Exploring Basic Psychological Needs and Health Among Academics” project, Dr. Siw Tone Innstrand from NTNU, Dr. Christina Maslach and Dr. Cristina Banks from UC Berkeley will continue to collaborate to create a more general model for healthy and sustainable working, learning and living environments by incorporating previous knowledge and performing cross-cultural comparisons of Universities in Norway and the United States. 


Past Projects

ICHW as Catalyst

ICHW as Advisor