Ryan Olson Lab
Dr. Olson's research is focused on safety and health interventions for lone workers, and on behavioral self-management methods. The overreaching goal of this research is to understand how organizations can best protect and promote health among workers who are physically isolated from peers. Dr. Olson has extensive experience conducting injury prevention and health promotion research in transportation industries (aviation, bus, trucking), but also has current projects in home health care and long-term care industries.
Recent Important Findings
Long-haul truck drivers can spend up to 11 hours driving and 14 hours on duty per day. Long sedentary hours, challenging sleep conditions, and limited exercise and eating options put drivers at-risk for excess weight gain. In 2005/06 Dr. Ryan Olson initiated a driver health research program titled Safety & Health Involvement For Truck drivers (SHIFT). In a randomized controlled trial with 452 drivers from 5 companies, the SHIFT program produced medically meaningful and statistically significant weight loss. The difference between treatment and control groups in average weight change was –1.0 units of Body Mass Index (-7.3 lbs). This result is predicted to reduce $200 (2010 dollars) in annual health care costs per driver and reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. This is the first randomized controlled trial in the US and the second trial globally (conducted in Finland) to produce a result so strong.Click here to read about Dr. Olson's current research
Ryan Olson Lab (L to R): Layla Mansfield, Jason Malach-Fuller,
Kelsey Parker, Barb Epstien, Ryan Olson (Dec. 2016)
Kelsey Parker - Postdoctoral Researcher
Barb Epstien - Research Associate
Barb Epstien recently (2016) joined the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences as Fatality Investigator and Outreach Specialist in the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, (OR-FACE) program. Ms. Epstien is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) with more than 25 years' experience in occupational and environmental health and safety including consulting, training, and OSHA regulatory compliance. She has worked with employers and employees in a variety of industry sectors. Ms. Epstien earned her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and her BA from Knox College. She is a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (FAIHA) and is an active AIHA member both locally (Pacific NW Section) and nationally (Construction Committee).
Layla Mansfield - Research Coordinator
Jason Malach-Fuller - Research Assistant II
Mr. Malach-Fuller earned his bachelor of science degree in Psychology at Portland State University in Portland, OR in March 2016. He joined the Institute for Occupational Health Sciences in November 2015 and is currently serving as a research assistant with the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) program and for a Team Truck Driver Project (Tech4Rest) under the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC). His current interests include work place diversity and inclusion, and will soon be pursuing his MBA in Project Management.