Why working is healthy
OCCUPATIONAL physicians have joined forces to highlight the positive effect work can have on an individual’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s Australasian Consensus Statement also reveals the health benefits of work on the community.
AFOEM president Dr Robin Chase says the statement is ‘‘only a stepping stone in the journey’’ to achieving the health benefits of work.
‘‘We have a shared desire to improve the welfare of individuals, families and communities and strong convictions that we all play our part. We hope the consensus statement will facilitate further discussion about how this is best achieved in Australia,’’ Dr Chase says.
‘‘This is particularly relevant at a time when we are struggling to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.’’
The consensus statement provides support to research that has found long-term work absence, work disability and unemployment have a negative effect on a worker’s health and wellbeing and work is an effective means of reducing poverty and social exclusion.
It also supports research that work practices, workplace culture and work-life balance are key to health, wellbeing and productivity and good outcomes are more likely when an individual understands the health benefits of work and are empowered to take responsibility for their own situation.
The statement has been supported by the Business Council of Australia, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, state workers’ compensation authorities as well as many medical and allied health organisations.
Work has a positive effect on employees’ physical and emotional wellbeing.