What is it?
The American Occupational Therapy Association executive board defines OT as such: “The therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play activities to increase development and prevent disability. It may include adaptation of a task or environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life.” One’s occupation can therefore be defined as the way in which we occupy our time.
Thus, our time is divided into three categories of activities in which we take part daily:
Self-Care: sleeping, eating, grooming, dressing, and toileting
Work: effort that is exerted to do or make something, or perform a task
Leisure: free, unoccupied time in which one chooses to do something they enjoy, such as: a hobby, watching T.V., socializing, sports, to read or write, listen to music, travel, etc.
If you read these very carefully, you will see that any task or use of our time during the day fits into one of these three categories. This is critical to understand the meaning of the term “occupation”. Occupation is how we spend our time; whether paid or unpaid, restful or fun, obligation or choice and that which fulfills us, gives us purpose, and allows us to interact with, be productive, and function in the world around us to the best of our ability.