Work aversion

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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.[citation needed] It can be attributed to laziness, boredom or burnout.[1] Work aversion is not a recognized psychological disorder in the DSM-IV.[citation needed]


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

  • Boredom with work:[1] Holding a boring job early in life can lead to the impression later that all work is boring.[2]


The mental health community does not recognize work aversion as an illness or disease and therefore no medically recognized treatments exist. Those attempting to treat work aversion as an illness may use psychotherapy, counseling, medication, or some more unusual forms of treatment.

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]

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