Work aversion

"Work-shy" redirects here. For the British band, see Workshy. For the German word meaning "work-shy", see Arbeitsscheu.

Work aversion (or aversion to work) is the state of avoiding or not wanting to work or be employed, or the extreme preference of leisure as opposed to work. It can be attributed to laziness, boredom or burnout;[1] most underachievers suffer from some work aversion.


Work aversion usually occurs in persons who have previously been employed, and can have a variety of causes. These include:


Since the term work aversion only applies to those with a need to earn income, complications will inevitably arise from lacking the money the subject needs from employment. These may include:


A source of help and support would be work anorexics and underachievers anonymous (WUA)

The mental health community does not recognize work aversion as an illness or disease and therefore no medically recognized treatments exist. Additional ways of treating work aversion as an illness people may use psychotherapy, counseling, medication, or some more unusual forms of treatment. Depending on the cause, lengths of treatment and success rates may vary.

In the case where the person has not worked for a while due to a workplace injury, work-hardening can be used to build strength. The person works for a brief period of time in the first week, such as two hours per day and increases the amount of work each week until full-time hours are reached.[3]


Work aversion is not a recognized psychological disorder in the DSM-IV.

The idea that work itself has intrinsic value or is an indicator of health or goodness can be traced to the Protestant Reformation.[4]

See also


Further reading

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