Symposium “The Human Agent – Capabilities and Justice”
Paper presented by Birgit Prodinger

Occupational Balance – Critical Reflections

Birgit Prodinger and Tanja Stamm critically examined the term occupational balance and in regards to that addressed the study „Occupational Balance and Rheumatoid Arthritis – Gender, Occupational Balance, Immunology“, funded by FWF Austrian Science Fund.

Occupation and balance are broad terms with various definitions, that have an impact on the term occupational balance. Furthermore terms like life balance, work-life- or work-family balance as well as role balance are brought into the discussion on occupational balance. Terms that, for their part, are also differently interpreted and defined.

In Occupational Science concerned with occupational balance the focus is mainly on researching how much time is allocated to different occupations, how personal interests and general conditions influence that and on the characteristics of a reasonable balance of occupations in everyday life.

Refering to Stamm’s study Prodinger pointed out, that occupational balance or imbalance is an important factor in disease processes. In regards to this occupational balance should mainly be viewed as subjectively experienced and dynamic process.

Birgit Prodinger presented the paper at the Symposium “The Human Agent – Capabilities and Justice”.