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Issue 14 Summer 2011
Occupational Physicians confirm, “Working is generally good for health and wellbeing.”
The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM), under the auspices of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, recently launched a position statement, Realising the Health Benefits of Work.
Not all work is good for all people; and work must be safe. With these provisos,Realising the Health Benefits of Work asserts that work, in general, is good for health and wellbeing, while not working is harmful.
Sickness absence, work disability and unnecessary exclusion from employment are major issues, not only in Australia, but in industrialised countries around the world. The health, economic, social and personal costs are substantial; so too are the potential benefits of change.
Being out of work for long periods is associated with:
In general, the beneficial effects of work outweigh the risks and the health benefits of work are greater than the harmful effects of long term unemployment or prolonged sickness absence.
Realising the Health Benefits of Work recommends that evidence based advice from health professionals that assists return to appropriate work should be supported by employers and government.