ICHW Book List

We introduced a new series of book recommendations compiled from our core researchers’ own bookshelves, especially for our followers who are also avid readers. ICHW book club? We want you in!

The Chair

Author(s): Galen Cranz

"I'd absolutely recommend The Chair by Galen Cranz. This book is an essential, and engaging, read for anyone interested in designing in a way that celebrates and supports, rather than harms, the human body. The book was published in 2000, but seen through the lens of recent epidemiological studies about the perils of prolonged sitting, we can see how prescient Cranz was in writing this book. It's still relevant, perhaps more so than ever, particularly in pointing out how entrenched chairs are in our culture, and what we can--and should--do to design for a range of postures, and movement between them.” ---Caitlin DeClercq, PhD.

How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship

Author(s): Annie McKee

"This book describes the powerful relationship of happiness to individual, team, and organizational success and dispels the myth that people cannot expect to feel happy and fulfilled at work." ---Carolyn Winslow, PhD.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Author(s): Daniel Kahneman

"While this book is not specific to workplaces, it certainly is a book that has implications for how to promote healthy behaviors in workplaces. Kahneman describes the two systems under which people operate, akin to our instinctual selves and our conscious, deliberate selves. What we can get out of this book is that there are many ways in which we can influence behavior, but understanding the nature of our systems allows employers, wellness program managers, designers, architects, HR, IT, policy-makers, and more, to be more strategic in their efforts to promote healthy behaviors and in the end, be successful in creating healthy workplaces." ---Isabelle Thibau, MPH.

Job Queues, Gender Queues

Author(s): Barbara Reskin, Patricia Roos

“This classic from the sociology of the labor market explores what happens to professions as they feminize.  The authors (and several colleagues) conducted case studies to test the theory that as professions feminize, a dual process ensues: men begin to abandon the profession and wages stagnate, if not fall.  The case studies cover a wide range of professions, from such white collar ones as pharmacy and real estate to more traditional blue collar ones as bakery workers through “pink collar” jobs such as insurance adjusters.  However, the authors provide evidence for a broader swath of the labor force, including subspecialties of medicine such as pediatrics.  Their description of the process remains accurate almost three decades later, although the counterweight of declining opportunities in many male-oriented occupations such as machine workers and industrial repair were not as predictable when Reskin and Roos wrote.” ---Ed Yelin, PhD.

Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability

Editor(s): Richard J. Jackson, Howard Frumkin, Andrew L. Dannenberg

"This book, co-edited by Dick Jackson, former head of the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), articulates guidelines for a number of healthy place types--including workplaces-- as well as guidelines to design for the promotion of particular health outcomes (for example, mental health, social connections, etc.). Combining theory and guidelines for practice, this book is a good place to start for anyone interested in the intersection of (work) place and health." ---Caitlin DeClercq, PhD.

How Women Can Make It Work: The Science of Success

Author(s): Eden King, Jennifer Knight

"This book condenses and  interprets a large body of social science research to help young women survive and thrive in their careers, including overcoming stereotypes, harassment, and navigating work-family issues." ---Carolyn Winslow, PhD.

Disability and the Displaced Worker

Author(s): Edward Yelin

Why persons with health problems stop working after onset of illness remains a Rorschach test for viewpoints on the role of the social welfare system in, in one view, protecting workers from the ravages of disease, or in the other, enticing them to stop working because they can replace a high percentage of their pre-illness incomes with disability benefits. In this book, ICHW Core Researcher, Edward Yelin poses yet a third way of viewing the fate of workers after onset of illness: that those with disabilities have labor market behaviors much like other groups with labor market liabilities, including women, members of racial and ethnic minorities, and age. Yelin shows that the labor market behavior of persons with disabilities does adhere to the last hired, first fired phenomenon and that high income replacement rates do not entice people to leave work but do offer the opportunity to avoid dire poverty if they do stop being employed.

Designed to Move: the Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy LIfelong Health

Author(s): Jean Vernikos

"What does space travel has in common with sedentary occupational jobs? While traveling in space is much more fun, I guess, they both expose us to lower levels of gravitational pull. After reading this book, I am so glad that I am not working in space most of the time. Gravity is constant, but the way we experience it in our body is not. Lying and sitting reduce the gravitational pull experienced in our body from head to toes (Gz). Nowadays, workplaces expose us to a reduced gravity pull. If you look around, there is a wave of interventions and recommendations to reduce sitting. Proponents and detractors often miss the point that it is not just about burning calories; multiple tissues in our body rely on the subtle but continuous pull that gravity exerts in our bodies all the time. Recovering Gz pull might be the missing part in the puzzle to solve sedentary behaviors at work." --- Victor Villalobos.

The Handbook of Well-Being

Editor(s): Ed Diener, Shigehiro Oishi, Louis Tay

“(The Handbook of Well-Being) is a great introduction to the existing body of research on human well-being, and available to all free at http://www.nobascholar.com/books/1. Chapters cover a tremendous range of topics from “Scientific Answers to the Timeless Philosophical Question of Happiness” (by Pelin Kesbir) to “Well-Being Concepts and Components“ (by William Tov) to “Non-Traditional Measures of Subjective Well-Being and Their Validity: A Review” (by Christie Napa Scollon) to “Statistical Approaches to Analyzing Well-Being Data” (by Michael Eid) to “Well-Being and Work Performance” (by Peter Warr and Karina Nielsen.” --- Sally Augustin, PhD.