Exploring the meaning of sustainable related occupations

Russo Alesi, Olivia (2019) Exploring the meaning of sustainable related occupations. In: RCOT (Royal College of Occupational Therapists) 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition, 18-19 June 2019, ICC Birmingham, UK.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0308022619866103


Background: Human activities and occupations impact on the earth’s resources, upon which individuals and societies are dependent. Sustainability is an issue to consider when contemplating the health impact this has on populations and subsequent generations. The World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ (2012) position statement on environmental sustainability supports the profession’s ability to develop understanding of sustainable practices as a matter of national and global health. Insight into sustainability-related occupations was gained from a cohousing community, where communal homes and workspaces are supported by renewable energy technologies such as solar, biomass and hydroelectricity.

Method: In-depth, rich qualitative data was gathered from four participants through semi-structured interviews, which were analysed thematically.

Findings: Social, environmental, economic and cultural meanings were attached to shared and individual values. These supported sustainable practices and community wellbeing.

Conclusion. Various skills, knowledge and abilities are required to negotiate complexities of sustainability-related occupations within the community. Cohousing, however, empowered participants to prioritise occupational engagement according to skill base, knowledge distribution and designated individual ability. This ultimately enhanced collective efficacy and offered opportunities to demonstrate such efficacy to wider communities. The study contributes to ethical debates and emerging occupational science or therapy evidence needed to support cultural and occupational change.

References: World Federation of Occupational Therapists (2012). Position statement: Environmental Sustainability, sustainable practice within occupational therapy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: SAGE Publications / College of Occupational Therapists
ISSN: 1477-6006
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Rehabilitation
Additional Information: Poster P3. Published in RCOT 2019 book of abstracts. Olivia Russo Alesi is an occupational therapist who currently works in neurosciences but has a particular interest in contemporary issues including mental health, environment and sustainability.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 14:36
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 09:32
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5074


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