Sydney Health and Work Research Network

Work and health interact in complex ways. Ill health is a growing productivity burden, with non-communicable diseases estimated to cost over US$30 trillion over the next 20 years due to lost output alone. In Australia, occupational ill health and injury now cost over $60 billion annually. Ill health can create barriers to participation in paid work, limiting the contributions and the potential of many individuals.

Conversely, work can have extensive negative effects on health, most obviously through job-related injuries. More insidious, though, are disease costs that are exacerbated by trends towards sedentary work, precarious employment and work intensification. Alternatively, positive work environments can nurture health and improve productivity.

The Health and Work Research Network is an initiative funded by the Sydney Research Networks Scheme which recognises that complex interactions such as those mentioned above cannot be effectively understood within individual disciplines. The network’s mission is to consolidate knowledge and expertise from multiple disciplines to develop an integrated model of sustainable work.