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Durham University

Department of Geography

News Archive

Durham University expert calls for worklessness to be tackled to improve public health

(17 January 2014)

Professor Clare Bambra

Professor Clare Bambra

Entitled "If You Could Do One Thing…", the collection of opinion pieces from leading social scientists concentrates on policy interventions that they recommend local authorities should introduce to improve the health of local people.

Professor Clare Bambra, Executive Director of the University's Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing, has contributed to "Tackling Health-Related Worklessness: A 'Health First' Approach".

Professor Bambra said "I argue that, since one of the key drivers of health inequalities is health-related worklessness, tackling this root cause could be a key way in which local authorities can reduce health inequalities".

"There is a strong relationship between ill health and unemployment - unemployment results in poorer health and being sick or disabled reduces an individual's employment prospects. For example, the employment rates of people with a disability or chronic illness in the UK are around 40 per cent compared to 70 per cent for those with good health".

The essay collection can be downloaded from the British Academy website.

Professor Bambra's article on the subject can be read on The Conversation.