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Occupation may be "a punch to our environment” for our health and well-being


Hi, there. How are you?

I am Etsuko Odawara from Occupational Photo.

I have started “Etsuko’s blog” to communicate about occupation,

health and well-being.

I’m planning to keep sharing it at a comfortable pace.

In this first post I will tell you about why I'm writing this blog and what it will be focused on.

Hope you enjoy today’s content.

Occupation may be "a punch to our environment” for our health and well-being

I have been interested in occupation for a long time.

What is occupation? How does it relate to our life?

How can I think about occupation when it seems complicated? 

In this blog, I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts about our daily occupations, and health and well-being.

I call what we do in our daily life occupations.

We live our daily life and continue our life course doing things--occupations.

We wake up in the morning, get dressed, have breakfast,

go to school, and work at the company or from home.

After such activities, we have dinner, take a shower and go to bed.

We also go shopping, go for a walk, go running, play baseball,

watch sports, enjoy drinking and going to a party, and more.

Since I was introduced to the field of occupational science,

I have been getting increasingly familiar with the complexity,

depth, and strength of occupations.

Then I began to understand that we engage in doing things

to stay well or get better, in other words for our health and well-being.

For example, if a typhoon hit your town and your house was flooded,

you and your family couldn’t live life as before.

Your daily life would be disrupted.

You would collaborate with others to clean the house and town

and make your life better.

It’s possible to think that we engage in doing things (occupations)

to change the environment and better our situation.

In real life, we usually don’t think about our occupations clearly

while engaging in them.

Guided by occupational science, I have focused on occupation in a big picture.

I have found that people "give a punch" to their environment or their situation

to get better and to have a better fit with their environment and situation. 

When something terrible or inspiring happens to us,

our choice of what we do next is influenced by our values

and we choose to act with agency,

as if giving a punch to the environment.

Occupational science has also guided me to an occupational perspective,

a unique method to look at our daily occupations from three angles:

the shape of an occupation, the function of an occupation

and the meaning of an occupation.

It has enabled me to think about occupation really clearly.

I have explained about this occupational perspective on my website

and in my book “Occupational Photo.”

I hope that people are interested in it and check it.

The form of an occupation is its observable aspect.

It is about the things you can observe

while a person is engaging in an occupation,

for example, the relationship of the person and time, space, methods,

and /or environment.

It describes the who, when, where, what, how, with whom, how long

and how often of the occupational participation.

The function of an occupation is about its power or influence

on health and/or well-being.

It is about how useful occupation is for health/ well-being,

for our adaptation to changes in the environment,

which are the dynamics of occupations to promote health.

The meaning of an occupation is how it is valued or what it means

to the person/ people engaging in it.

While you are engaged in an occupation, you might not be aware

of what meaning it has for you.

If you were unable to continue to participate in that occupation for some reason,

you would certainly think about how meaningful it had been for you.


I often hear people comment that the function of occupation and the meaning

of occupation are difficult to understand.

Someone asks me how we can separate what the function of an occupation

from its meaning. 

If you think about it as I describe below, it will be easier to understand.    

Take a pair of dice and let’s look at one of them, named occupation.

The shape, function and meaning of an occupation are three sides of the dice.

The side numbered 1 ⚀ is the form of occupation, the side numbered 5⚄

is the function of occupation and the side numbered 2 ⚁ 

is the meaning of occupation.

When you see the dice from each side, you would understand only a part of occupation.

You can’t understand all of occupation from just one angle, one side and so

you can't understand occupation well.

But you can comprehend occupation better by synthesizing what you see

from all of sides ⚀⚄and ⚁.

I think people can best begin to understand occupation through

looking at their own occupations.

To share the occupational perspective with people, I wrote my book

“Occupational Photo”, I have held workshops and I have enjoyed discussions

with my enthusiastic participants.

In 2022, I started my site “作業的写真Occupational Photo.”

Its URL is 

Thanks for checking it.


Now I have started this blog to share the occupational perspective

with more people.

I hope my blog users get a close understanding of their daily occupations,

health and well-being.

I hope they become familiar with the occupational perspective of daily life.

Later in this blog, I am going to write about my occupations and occupations

of people close to me.

I want to write about them using the occupational perspective.

I will also write about occupational photos.

From the next time on, I am going to post about daily occupations.

The first is “From aerobics to walking.”

I look forward to meet you soon!


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