Employment makes people healthier, say doctors

LONG absences from employment can make us miserable and causes early death, say Australian and New Zealand physicians who made a consensus statement about the health benefits of work on Wednesday.

In a joint statement, which featured the RACGP, ACRRM and the RACP as signatories, the group said work was generally good for health, while long breaks from work, along with unemployment and being unable to work because of disability, have a negative impact on wellbeing.

Occupational physician Dr Mary Wyatt said most people didn't realise the importance of work for their mental and physical health.

"People don't know that it's important to go back to work, they don't think 'it's a problem for me that I'm off work and it's bad for my health' - it doesn't seem like a big deal," Dr Wyatt told AAP.

"But we know that when people stay out of work for longer than six months they're more likely to become isolated and