Work is good for mental and physical health, according to a government-backed review published today.
The report , Is Work Good for your Health and Well-being?, finds that unemployment can cause mental health problems and increase the likelihood of people becoming disabled or obese, but these problems can be reversed when people return to work.
The report reviewed more than 400 pieces of scientific evidence on work and health.
Launching the report, health, work and well-being minister Lord Hunt said work benefited communities by reducing health and wealth inequalities.
The government’s health, work and well-being strategy, published in October 2005, will be led by Dame Carol Black, who took up her post as the first national director for health and work on 29 August.
She was previously president of the Royal College of Physicians.
A key component of the strategy is improving access to talking therapies. Schemes are being piloted in Doncaster and Newham, east London.