Economic stability is an indicator of whether or not an individual is living a healthy, prosperous life. As a social determinant of health, it gauges whether someone is able to provide for their health on a daily basis without any major complications financially. The circumstances for living such a prosperous and healthy life are unequally distributed within society as some are more economically stable than others. Described below are the main indicators of economic stability:
Employment is directly correlated with a person’s health, when the rate of unemployment increases, illness and premature death increases as well. Moreover, those that are unemployed are at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving proper health care and being able to afford medical expenses. Unemployment is also correlated with unhealthy behaviors such as increased alcohol and tobacco use, and decreased physical activity.
A home is a person's sanctuary. It is where meals are served, a family is raised, bodies are healed, and a living is made. Ensuring stable housing is imperative to promoting healthy behaviors. Financial burdens of housing, however, can lead to serious health consequences. In fact, housing insecurity has been linked with poor mental health status, insufficient sleep and increased risk for high blood pressure, respiratory conditions and exposure to infectious disease.
Food insecurity is an issue that is pervasive across the globe and right here at home. Access to a healthy, nutritious meal is imperative to maintaining a healthy figure, positive mental health, and is a requirement for living an active, healthy life. Food security, however, is more than merely having access to food. It also deals with access to nutritious meals, access to healthy food options, and decreasing fringe and fast food options that are unhealthy. Food insecurity can cause starvation and nutrient deprivation on one end of the spectrum, and obesity and chronic diseases on the other.
Poverty is the over-arching, encompassing issue that can lead to the aforementioned issues stated above. Plainly spoken, having a low income is severely detrimental to one's health and to his or her family as well. It is with poverty where see the greatest disparity, especially when we compare the health of the impoverished versus the affluent. Poverty is so severe, that it can rob an individual, or even an entire family, of the basic necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, and proper health care.