Title

Thinking about Occupation like a Mountain: Connecting Occupation, Nature and Well-being

Start Time

21-10-2011 2:20 PM

End Time

21-10-2011 3:50 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

In a famous essay in A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold, the father of the modern conservation movement in the USA, stressed the importance of “thinking like a mountain”. By this he meant the need to take a long-term view of human activities, taking into consideration the human and ecological context of those activities. Like Leopold’s notion of “thinking like a mountain”, this panel emphasizes that occupational science has to consider the broader connections between occupation, the natural environment, and health and well-being. By “connections” we do not mean separate elements that come together to a greater or lesser extent; rather, we must think about occupation through a “humans-innature” perspective wherein human societies are coupled to ecosystems as part of the same “socialecological system”. In such systems, if occupational science aims to develop research that promotes human health and well-being, then it cannot ignore the natural environment and environmental change. The aim of this panel is to examine the positive and negative mediation of human occupational performance in ecological contexts against the background of climate and other environmental change. Panel presenters will explore the links between occupation and the natural environment from various perspectives including occupational cycles of humans-in-nature, the Modified Instrumentalism in Occupational Therapy model, the Sustainable Global Wellbeing approach to healthcare, and sustainable development theory. Papers will consider human occupation as a means of facilitating sustainability and resilience and consequently ecological balance, and how to help individuals and communities change their occupational performance to ensure ecological health among other topics. The Discussion session following the paper presentations will focus on building research capacity within occupational science on questions of sustainability, resilience and environmental change.

Session Presenters and Papers:

Mami Aoyama, Associate Dean, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences and Professor of Occupational Therapy, Nishikyushu University (University of West Kyushu), Kanzaki, Japan: What is “occupational justice” for the well-being of humans and nature?

Moses N. Ikiugu, Associate Professor and Director of Research, Occupational Therapy Department, The University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota: Reflective occupational choice and performance with the view of occupation as a mountain

Ben Whittaker, The Centre For Sustainable Healthcare, UK: Sustainable Global Wellbeing: a proposed expansion of the occupational therapy paradigm

Tamara Rayment, The Centre For Sustainable Healthcare, UK: Join Together: could the holistic principles of occupational therapy and sustainable development work together to enable durable wellbeing?

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Oct 21st, 2:20 PM Oct 21st, 3:50 PM

Thinking about Occupation like a Mountain: Connecting Occupation, Nature and Well-being

In a famous essay in A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold, the father of the modern conservation movement in the USA, stressed the importance of “thinking like a mountain”. By this he meant the need to take a long-term view of human activities, taking into consideration the human and ecological context of those activities. Like Leopold’s notion of “thinking like a mountain”, this panel emphasizes that occupational science has to consider the broader connections between occupation, the natural environment, and health and well-being. By “connections” we do not mean separate elements that come together to a greater or lesser extent; rather, we must think about occupation through a “humans-innature” perspective wherein human societies are coupled to ecosystems as part of the same “socialecological system”. In such systems, if occupational science aims to develop research that promotes human health and well-being, then it cannot ignore the natural environment and environmental change. The aim of this panel is to examine the positive and negative mediation of human occupational performance in ecological contexts against the background of climate and other environmental change. Panel presenters will explore the links between occupation and the natural environment from various perspectives including occupational cycles of humans-in-nature, the Modified Instrumentalism in Occupational Therapy model, the Sustainable Global Wellbeing approach to healthcare, and sustainable development theory. Papers will consider human occupation as a means of facilitating sustainability and resilience and consequently ecological balance, and how to help individuals and communities change their occupational performance to ensure ecological health among other topics. The Discussion session following the paper presentations will focus on building research capacity within occupational science on questions of sustainability, resilience and environmental change.

Session Presenters and Papers:

Mami Aoyama, Associate Dean, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences and Professor of Occupational Therapy, Nishikyushu University (University of West Kyushu), Kanzaki, Japan: What is “occupational justice” for the well-being of humans and nature?

Moses N. Ikiugu, Associate Professor and Director of Research, Occupational Therapy Department, The University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota: Reflective occupational choice and performance with the view of occupation as a mountain

Ben Whittaker, The Centre For Sustainable Healthcare, UK: Sustainable Global Wellbeing: a proposed expansion of the occupational therapy paradigm

Tamara Rayment, The Centre For Sustainable Healthcare, UK: Join Together: could the holistic principles of occupational therapy and sustainable development work together to enable durable wellbeing?