Defining what health is can vary from person to person as illustrated in the Tunes U course ‘thinking about health: levels, models, practices, which includes audio examples from a variety of people e. G. Homeless people and doctors giving their with varying interpretations of what health means to them. Mass media is instrumental in helping us form ideas on what health is and what affects it. There is a wealth of information available a simple Google search of ‘what is health’ brings up results.
Perhaps the most commonly cited definition of health is that of the World Health Organization (1946) who state health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well – being and not merely the absence f disease or infirmity. This positive view of health is not without criticism, most critics argue that is too idealistic and unachievable but forms the basis of most other definitions of health. How does work impact on our health / ill health? First need to establish what is work.
The oxford dictionary defines work as ‘activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result…. A means of earning income… Place where one is employed, the period of time one spends in paid employment’. This could therefore cover activities such as academically work, paid employment voluntary work. Classical sociologists such as Karl Marx would argue work or employment is extremely important as is forms the fundamental basis of economy and therefore society, owing to the fact that the economy influences the whole of society.
In addition work defines us as individuals, our social class for example is defined by the level of income we achieve and the nature of the work we are tasked with. Emilee Druthers took this one step further and argued work is essential for social integration and therefore essential to help meet our social needs, arguing division of labor unifies society and helps heap morality. We can therefore derive that work is important to keep the economy running and aiding people meet social needs but how does it impact upon our health? The type of work undertaken is essential to an individual’s welfare.
It is important that work is intrinsically rewarding. Low level workers tend to be tasked with chores they must carry out with no opportunity for using initiative and capitalist system of working does little to promote this notion. Taylor 2003 highlighted cases in favor of Mar’s notion whereby a correlation can be found between psychosocial factors within the oracle and workers physiological responses. In particular There’ll found that the higher the level of decision latitude a worker has over their work the better their health tended to be.
Illness Innovator 1979 argued is therefore is ‘a product of inequality in society as well as a biological condition’. Although workplace dynamics have changed since the times of Mar’s writings his theories can still be relevant. A 2010 study ‘The role of the low-pay, no pay cycle in recurrent poverty’ concluded that while necessity, desire and lack of better opportunity led people to take low level work low paid ill health often emitted participation in work or was a result of the job they were undertaking with depression being widespread amongst interviewees.
Whilst this a modern example of how Mar’s theory can still hold relevant. We must also take into account that this study is restricted to Desisted in a time where skilled labor predominant (chemical and steel manufacture)in the area was in decline indicating that other factors are at play such as place and not solely work when we are considering health. Freud argued that work is ‘man’s strongest tie to reality’ along with love and is key to metal wellbeing this was eater backed up by the works of Jihad and later Hazard and Shaver 1990.
Soda’s studies the effects of mass unemployment in an Austrian town and found that long term unemployment can have major effect on our wellbeing and lead to people being resigned as opposed to rebellious. Jihad identified five factors fundamental to wellbeing: time structure, social contact, collective effort or purpose, social identity or Status, and regular activity. Employment / work fulfill all five of these factors. Hazard and shaver put forward that work provides adults opportunities for exploration and mastery and in turn actual ND perceived competence as they accomplish work tasks and gain gratification from doing so.
They found secure types enjoy work and don’t allow it to affect health or relationships in stark contrast to avoidance subjects who use work as means of avoiding social gatherings and tend to allow it to affect work. A 2006 review ‘is work good for your health and wellbeing’ further provides. The review looked at 400 studies into the relationship between work and health. It concluded that not only is work generally good for your health but long periods of unemployment promote ill health.
Inactivity and lack of social inclusion promotes Professor Barton also points out that returning to work can also aid recovery. As per Mar’s theory work defines us as individuals it gives us a talking point amongst peers. This is also backed up in the above cited 201 0 series and was illustrated in the BBC series ‘Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits’ which ran in July 2013. Work is therefore very influential on our health and ill health but there are clearly other factors that influence health and must be considered.
Hazard and shaver highlight there are also other factors that have a major impact on our lath such as personality type. Works such as those of Jihad place to great an emphasis on social factors shaping behavior and doesn’t take into account other factors such as Place or gender. Jihad’s study was of male participants so we therefore cannot generalist to other sectors of society such as young women. Media influence cannot be ignored as an influence on our Health. Baudelaire (2002) highlights TV and being the predominant global media medium.