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Work is Good for Our Health

29 March 2011

Media release

Work is Good for Our Health

Injured people out of the workforce are more likely to have higher than average rates of depression and suicide, and will potentially live shorter lives.

The effects of "joblessness" have been identified by a growing body of international evidence, which shows that safely recovering at work delivers real health benefits for injured people.

This philosophy has been championed by Professor Dame Carol Black, Director of Health and Work in the United Kingdom (UK), who is in New Zealand this week to talk to businesses and health providers about the benefits of workplace rehabilitation.

Dame Carol is also speaking at tomorrow’s launch of the Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Work by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). ACC is one of the many organisations that have signed the statement.

The statement acknowledges that work practices, workplace culture, injury management programmes and relationships within workplaces influence not only whether people feel valued at work, but also individual health and wellbeing.

“We recognise that this statement represents a shift in thinking for many people, but international research shows there are real health and wellbeing benefits for injured people who return safely to work,” said Dr Kevin Morris, ACC’s Director of Clinical Services.

ACC has also adopted this approach through its "Better at Work" trial in selected PHOs, in which co-ordinators bring the GP, the employer and the injured worker together to provide a safe return to work for the employee.

The goal is to reduce time off work by enabling injured workers to recover safely at work where they have a routine, a purpose and companionship.


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