An apple a day isn’t the only thing that keeps the doctor away. As it turns out, so does a college degree. A recent study by the Public Health Agency of Canada found that an individual’s health and life expectancy increase in conjunction with their levels of education.
The Relationship between Education and Health
The connection between health and education is not a new one, nor has it only been realized in North America; it has been observed for many years and in many countries. In case you think the difference in health between the less and more educated is a minor one, think again. Another study conducted in 1999 revealed that the mortality rate of high school dropouts was more than twice as large as the mortality rate of those individuals with a college degree.
But what exactly is it about education that promotes good health and a longer life?
Access to Health Care
One of the most obvious reasons for such a discrepancy is that the better educated, generally speaking, have better, higher-paying jobs which allow them access to insurance benefits and high-quality health care. Those with minimal education, again, generally speaking, tend to have non-salaried jobs that often come with little to no benefits, making treatment for illness and disease sometimes impossible.
A Sense of Well Being
Often, something as simple as thinking positively can have a profound impact on your health. When you have a sense of well being, your mood is more stable and you feel less stress and sleep better. Those who have received a higher education typically have more control over their lives and their destinies, and therefore tend to feel better about things in general.
Transversely, people who have not gotten a higher education or finished high school often struggle in the world and as a result, have far greater amounts of stress which can trigger the release of radical hormones in the body that, over time, can lead to diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Higher Education = Lower Risk Factors
It has also been found that education levels have a direct correlation to the kinds of lifestyle choices and behaviors seen in the differing groups. For instance, the group that has attained more education generally does not partake in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking and illegal drug usage, while those less educated have been found to, more often than not, experiment and even become addicted to alcohol and nicotine.
This no doubt has huge ramifications and helps uncover why mortality rates for the educated are generally five years higher than those who have not gone on to receive a college degree.
Food for Thought
Most people are aware that a higher education means better opportunities in life, better careers and better pay. But with this additional knowledge – that a higher education can literally make you healthier and live years longer - the idea of pursuing a college degree, either straight out of high school or perhaps going back to school after some time, makes much more sense.
Pete Kontakos discusses many topics including HCG.