June/July 2012 (vol. 09/1)

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Research Plus

Does work improve health?

A systematic review (18 studies) finds a relationship between returning to work after unemployment and better health – the relationship is partly causal, but also relates to selection effects. Various studies found that returning to work results in better health (‘causation hypothesis’) and one in particular found that reemployment reverses the negative health impact of unemployment. Poor health may also interfere with an individual’s ability to return to employment (‘selection hypothesis’) and two studies support the notion that healthier job seekers are more attractive to employers and more able to cope with the challenge of finding work. Studies examining both hypotheses suggest that selection and causation are mutually reinforcing.

American Journal of Public Health: March 2012, vol.102(3): 541–556.  http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300401

Occupational Health at Work June/July 2012 (vol. 09/1) pp40