Title

A Model of Occupational Balance

Presenter Information

Kathleen Matuska
Charles Christiansen

Start Time

16-10-2002 12:00 AM

End Time

18-10-2002 12:00 AM

Abstract

There is growing popular interest in occupational (lifestyle) balance, yet little is known about what occupational balance means or how to achieve it. The lay public and writers in disciplines such as health education, leisure studies, and occupational therapy have suggested that certain lifestyle configurations might lend themselves to higher levels of life satisfaction and general well-being, suggesting that these lifestyles would also be health promoting through their opportunities for enjoyment, socialization, challenge, rest and recreation, personal growth, and self expression.

While the idea of a balanced lifestyle has intuitive appeal, the challenge of explicitly describing such a lifestyle in operational terms previously has not been documented in the literature, nor has the concept otherwise been validated. A few writers in occupational science and occupational therapy have addressed the topic in conceptual terms, but few empirical studies have been completed. Constructs such as adaptation, meaning, motivation, coping, habits, and routines, and rhythms have been linked to wellness and quality of life (Christiansen, 2003; Christiansen, 1999; Clark, 1997, Kielhofner, 1977; and Wilcock, 1998) yet it is unknown how these contribute to an overall sense of occupational (lifestyle) balance since they are subjective and viewed uniquely by each individual in the context of their own lives. We will share the results of a pilot study correlating measures of satisfaction with life, affect balance, sense of coherence, and quality of life to a measure of occupational balance. Important constructs related to occupational balance will be clarified, explored, and linked to healthy lifestyles and quality of life.

Finally, with the insights gained from the pilot study and a review of literature, we will present a model of occupational balance organized around Maslow’s hierarchy. These will propose that balanced lifestyles require occupations that meet deficiency needs, which rely upon actual and perceived competence as well as occupations that meet being needs which pertain to relationships, perceived meaning, and personal growth.

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Oct 16th, 12:00 AM Oct 18th, 12:00 AM

A Model of Occupational Balance

There is growing popular interest in occupational (lifestyle) balance, yet little is known about what occupational balance means or how to achieve it. The lay public and writers in disciplines such as health education, leisure studies, and occupational therapy have suggested that certain lifestyle configurations might lend themselves to higher levels of life satisfaction and general well-being, suggesting that these lifestyles would also be health promoting through their opportunities for enjoyment, socialization, challenge, rest and recreation, personal growth, and self expression.

While the idea of a balanced lifestyle has intuitive appeal, the challenge of explicitly describing such a lifestyle in operational terms previously has not been documented in the literature, nor has the concept otherwise been validated. A few writers in occupational science and occupational therapy have addressed the topic in conceptual terms, but few empirical studies have been completed. Constructs such as adaptation, meaning, motivation, coping, habits, and routines, and rhythms have been linked to wellness and quality of life (Christiansen, 2003; Christiansen, 1999; Clark, 1997, Kielhofner, 1977; and Wilcock, 1998) yet it is unknown how these contribute to an overall sense of occupational (lifestyle) balance since they are subjective and viewed uniquely by each individual in the context of their own lives. We will share the results of a pilot study correlating measures of satisfaction with life, affect balance, sense of coherence, and quality of life to a measure of occupational balance. Important constructs related to occupational balance will be clarified, explored, and linked to healthy lifestyles and quality of life.

Finally, with the insights gained from the pilot study and a review of literature, we will present a model of occupational balance organized around Maslow’s hierarchy. These will propose that balanced lifestyles require occupations that meet deficiency needs, which rely upon actual and perceived competence as well as occupations that meet being needs which pertain to relationships, perceived meaning, and personal growth.