Reinventing #publichealth by revolutionizing work

Okay, Team Campus Life Services, you have captured my imagination and helped me think about a true reinvention of public health! What if we were to reinvent public health by, as you put it, revolutionalizing work?

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 4.06.52 PM  In the United States, 80% of workers experience unhealthy levels of stress and 70% of healthcare provider visits are due to stress-related conditions.  Advances in a number of fields including neurobiology are helping to explain the psychological and biological consequences of stress, linking toxic levels of it to serious (and expensive) chronic conditions. And, the WHO sees the need to raise awareness of stress at work in developing countries as essential for protecting workers’ health.

So, what if we were to reframe work as a global public health issue?  And what if UCSF could help develop and drive the research agenda? 

I see the idea on this card as responding to the challenge of reinventing public health because it’s questioning the usefulness of historically-defined boundaries that have traditionally kept the workplace out from the domain of public health. But, as we all know, the social, emotional, and physical health consequences of work do not remain within the confines of where we work or the time at which we’re at work. And although we are not all workers, we all interact with them, either in our homes or in the community. Hence, the stress produced in so many workplaces affects all of us.  It is a public health issue today and, over the next decade, unmanaged stress will continue to threaten the health and well-being of workers throughout the globe. Unless, of course, Team Campus Life Services leads us in the revolution!

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