HEALTHY PEOPLE IN UNHEALTHY PLACES: Stress and Fitness at Work by Kenneth R. Pelletier
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A solid, all-embracing plan of action to improve occupational health--the most comprehensive yet. Pelletier (Holistic Medicine, Longevity) is firmly social-medicine minded. Only a collective approach, he argues, can prevent the serious health problems that modern-day work places may cause. Individual health improvement measures, correspondingly, may be useless if nothing is done to safeguard occupational health. Unless asbestos workers are protected from long-terre asbestos exposure, for instance, they are virtually guaranteed to develop lung disease, no matter what their personal habits. Pelletier presents a blueprint for effective action in four ""spheres of influence."" The first is individual action--whereby workers can make ""personal health choices"" (stress management, nutrition, exercise, cigarette smoking)--and work-specific health education, such as learning to lift properly or stretching exercises for the desk-bound. The second sphere is group action by employees and management; problems to be addressed at this level include noise pollution, toxic chemical exposure, poor lighting, and unnecessary organization stressors. The third sphere is management health policy--a prime example: making HMO membership available to employees. The fourth and final sphere consists of legal, political, and social action for health improvement--currently represented by OSHA standards. Pelletier also sets out the hazards to safeguard against (stress is one of the foremost) and looks at the most progressive corporate health programs. (IBM, Xerox, and Control Data, all-round cynosures, are among the leaders.) The several other recent books on occupational health--as well as Jeanne Stellman and Mary Sue Henifin's fine, forthcoming Office Work Can Be Dangerous to Your Health (p. 1209)--deal with one or another aspect or segment of the problem; this offers a convincing overall argument and a concrete overall plan.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1983
Publisher: Delacorte