SAMK’s new Research Center for Human Functioning focuses on the well-being of employees in Satakunta

A new research center has been launched at SAMK. The center, called the Research Center for Human Functioning, focuses on improving the well-being and functioning of working-age people in the Satakunta region. Its goal is to help the people of Satakunta be the best functioning working-age population in Finland and to help address the labor supply challenges in the region.

5.10.2023 | By: Veera Iisakkala ja Henna Kyhä | Photo: Veera Iisakkala

Henna Kyhä SAMKin Live Studiossa / Henna Kyhä in SAMK Live Studio

Henna Kyhä is the Research Manager of the new research center.

The Research Center for Human Functioning is addressing two key challenges for the vitality of Satakunta: the shrinking labor force and the declining functioning of the population. According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and The Social Insurance Institution, mental health problems, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, smoking and substance abuse, along with cardiovascular diseases, are the main factors that weaken one’s ability to work and function.

The Research Center studies the functioning of the working population in Satakunta and provides recommendations to address labor supply challenges. Maintaining human functioning and strengthening inclusion support the physical, mental, and social capacity of the population to cope with daily activities and integrate into society and working life.

– A prosperous and skilled workforce is a vital pillar of our society's economic and social sustainability. A shrinking workforce will inevitably lead to ever-fiercer competition for a functioning workforce. We need to find new ways of helping people stay and function well in working life, says Henna Kyhä, Research Manager and Head of the Research Center.

Three main areas for research have been selected for the center: Nutrition of the Working-age, Mental Health of the Working-age and Work and Education-based Immigration. The research center will study the impact of nutrition and mental health on working life and human functioning, while research in Work and Education-based Immigration will ensure that international skills remain in Satakunta. The aim is to move towards stronger interdisciplinary research.

– We want to do more innovative, open-minded research. Our latest project will explore whether artificial intelligence can be used to identify factors that predict the onset of mental health disorders from a preventive perspective, says Kyhä.

The research center works closely with the Wellbeing Services County of Satakunta, local businesses and the third sector.

For more information about the research center and its ongoing projects, visit: For further information, please contact the Research Manager of the Research Center for Human Functioning:

Henna Kyhä
Research Manager, Head of Research Center for Human Functioning
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
+358 44 710 3134 |

Pirroskuva ihmisistä

Research Center for Human Functioning


The Research Center for Human Functioning carries out research projects that approach human functioning, well-being, and health from new perspectives. The research center supports people in their everyday lives at home and work, and in caring for themselves and others. The research center responds to the challenges in labor supply and work well-being in Satakunta.

5.10.2023 | By: Veera Iisakkala ja Henna Kyhä | Photo: Veera Iisakkala

Related news

Keskustelu Kokeilimossa. Kaksi opiskelijaa haastatteee kokemusasiantuntijaa pöydän ääressä.

New at SAMK – simulations with an expert by experience

This spring, SAMK has organised training and simulation sessions for the students of nursing and social services as well as for professionals already in working life. The experiences have been very positive.
Close-up, Benjamin Dalmas.
| Wellbeing and health

With international cooperation towards more efficient utilization of health data

This spring has been very efficient for the Future Hospital project. Major steps have been taken in the progress of the technology built around Auria datalake: the completion of a functioning, secure remote work platform to be utilized by an external researcher is important for the future service model.

Latest News

Henna Kyhä istuu keltaisella tuolilla.

Research Manager for the well-being of the working-aged

The new Research Center for Human Functioning was recently established at SAMK to focus on the well-being of Satakunta's workers and address labor supply challenges in the region. The research center is led by Henna Kyhä, Research Manager and Doctor of Philosophy (Education). Kyhä leads the new center drawing on her diverse experience and expertise in coordinating and implementing various research projects.