Health and Occupation

Developing the Occupational Sciences in Austria

Internationally, the Occupational Sciences have been well-established as a discipline for decades. Here in Austria, it is still in a developmental stage and not yet present in the interdisciplinary scientific discourse. The ifz supports the development of this young Austrian discipline, for instance, by engaging it into an interdisciplinary dialogue with philosophy.

The Occupational Sciences aim to understand health and the good life from a perspective of concrete actions. The understanding of Occupational Science is that health means to have choices, skills and actual possibilities to participate in meaningful activities. They change over a lifetime. Fundamental components are: taking care of oneself, enjoy life, contribute to the social and economic network of the community. Health, well-being and justice are supported by occupation.

During the summer of 2010, “Health, Self-Effectivity and Occupation” was the topical focus at the ifz. Diverse discussions were held in order to draft this new field of research and to find an initial interdisciplinary terminology.