Skip to main content

Work and health

Understanding the complex links between work and chronic disease

Work and health interact in complex ways. Our health affects our ability to work, but work can also affect our health. Yet the ways in which work and health interact to assist or harm our wellbeing aren’t clearly understood.

Our research in work and health aims to:

  • increase our understanding of the links between work and chronic diseases
  • understand the economic cost of chronic disease originating from work
  • identify ways workplaces can be better designed to reduce or prevent risks of chronic disease
  • determine ways our productivity can be increased through health-enhancing work.

Our research integrates insights from the social, health and medical sciences as well as from other disciplines. We’re currently developing thinking around the potential for a new large-scale Australian database on work, health and productivity.

The National Preventative Health Strategy has identified workplaces as a key site for reaching adults who are at risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Our research aims to better understand how workplaces can be more effective as a setting for health promotion activities. We’re also exploring the impacts of job design and how organisational factors can support or damage our health.


  • Society and environment
  • Solutions

Project Node Leader

Professor John Buchanan