Adults spend about 40% of their waking hours at work. The workplace is an important setting both in affecting people’s health and as an environment in which to promote health. Health in working life is not a technical, value-free process, but rather one influenced by the ideologies, beliefs and values of key actors, such as officials, workers and unions, employers, corporations and managers, experts and others (Levenstein & Woodings, 1997). Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of the workplace setting is that it brings together a variety of groups and individuals who have different agendas and priorities with regard to work and health (Naidoo & Wills, 2000). Hence, the relationship between work and health may be viewed in different ways by different actors; a conflict of interest may arise between the actors with regard to what comes first, health or productivity.
This text begins with a look at key concepts, theories and models to explain the relationship between health and work. This is followed by a discussion of important empirical findings and research concerning strategies to improve workplace health.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2007. 46-58 p.