Work and Health Review

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IS WORK GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
Gordon Waddell, A Kim Burton

IS WORK GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
Gordon Waddell, CBE DSc MD FRCS Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research, Cardiff University, UK A Kim Burton, PhD DO EurErg Centre for Health and Social Care Research, University of Huddersfield, UK

The authors were commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions to conduct this independent review of the scientific evidence. The authors are solely responsible for the scientific content and the views expressed which do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Government or The Stationery Office.

London: TSO

Published by TSO (The Stationery Office) and available from: Online www.tsoshop.co.uk Mail, Telephone, Fax & E-mail TSO PO Box 29, Norwich, NR3 1GN Telephone orders/General enquiries: 0870 600 5522 Fax orders: 0870 600 5533 E-mail: customer.services@tso.co.uk Textphone 0870 240 3701 TSO Shops 123 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6PQ 020 7242 6393 Fax 020 7242 6394 68-69 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AD 0121 236 9696 Fax 0121 236 9699 9-21 Princess Street, Manchester M60 8AS 0161 834 7201 Fax 0161 833 0634 16 Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GD 028 9023 8451 Fax 028 9023 5401 18-19 High Street, Cardiff CF10 1PT 029 2039 5548 Fax 029 2038 4347 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9AZ 0870 606 5566 Fax 0870 606 5588 TSO Accredited Agents (see Yellow Pages) and through good booksellers © Gordon Waddell and Kim Burton 2006 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or byany means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the permission of the publisher. Copyright in the typographical arrangement and design is vested in The Stationery Office Limited. Applications for reproduction should be made in writing to The Stationery Office Limited, St Crispins, Duke Street, Norwich NR3 1PD. The information contained in this publication is believed to be correct at the time of manufacture. Whilst care has been taken toensure that the information is accurate, the publisher can accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions or for changes to the details given. Kim Burton and Gordon Waddell have asserted their moral rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, to be identifie as d the authors of this work. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A Library of Congress CIP catalogue record has been applied for. First published 2006 ISBN 0 11 703694 3 13 digit ISBN 978 0 11 703694 9 Printed in the United Kingdom by The Stationery Office

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Contents
Acknowledgements EXECUTIVE SUMMARY HEALTH, WORK, AND WELL-BEING Aims Definitions REVIEW METHODS Organisation of the evidence Evidence synthesis and rating REVIEW FINDINGS Health effects of work and unemployment Work Unemployment Age-specific findings Re-employment Work for sick and disabled people Mental Health Severe mental illness Common mental health problems Stress Musculoskeletal conditions Cardio-respiratory conditions Social Security Studies DISCUSSION Conclusions REFERENCES EVIDENCE TABLES v vii 1 3 3 6 6 7 9 9 9 10 13 17 20 21 21 22 22 24 27 29 31 36 39 69

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Is work good for your health & well-being?

Table 1. Health effects of work vs unemployment Table 1a: Work Table 1b: Unemployment Table 1c: Older workers (> approx. 50 years) Table 2. Health impacts of employment, re-employment, and retirement Table 2a: School leavers and young adults (Age < approx. 25 years) Table 2b: Adults (age ~25 to ~ 50 years) Table 2c: Older workers (> approx. 50 years) Table 3: Work for sick and disabled people. Table 3a: Disability Table 3b: Sickness absence and return to work Table 4: The impact of work on the health of people with mental health conditions Table 4a: Severe mental illness Table 4b: Minor/moderate mental health problems Table 4c-i: Stress: The...
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