A purely biomedical understanding of the work-health relationship has failed because it doesn’t acknowledge the interactions between the worker and their environment. It also does not promote the health-supportive aspects of work.


Work-relevant health problems are not always a medical concern. It is now widely accepted that over-medicalisation can keep people away from work unnecessarily.


This is detrimental because the evidence shows the longer someone is away from work, the less likely it is that they will return. 

To reduce work loss due to ill-health, a biopsychosocial understanding is key:

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