The relationship between engagement in occupation and healthfulness is explored. Health is viewed not as the absence of organ pathology, but as possession of a repertoire of skills that enables people to achieve their vital goals in their own environments. This sort of health, reflecting adaptability and a good quality of life, is possible for all people, including those with chronic impairments.

Theoretical and research literature from an array of disciplines explores the influences of occupation on various aspects of health. These include interests, satisfaction in everyday doing, balance, the latent consequences of work, and transcendence. Support is provided for a relationship between activity level and survival. To improve the life opportunities of those they serve, occupational therapists need to become ardent students of life’s daily activities, grappling with the ambiguity and complexity of occupation, the occupational human, and the contexts in which occupation takes place.

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