Does poor health lead to lower income?

Image by Bellinon from Pixabay

It is known that a low income can lead to poor health due to lack of access to good health care. But it is also true that poor health also contributes to reduced income. Poor health can limit one’s ability to work, reduce economic opportunities, inhibit educational attainment, and lead to medical debt and bankruptcy.

Poor Health and Productivity

Poor health has affected the economy of different nations across the world. There are direct and indirect costs associated with being ill such as how lost productivity and medical sick leaves cost employers close to US$576 billion annually.

With that in mind, it’s important for companies to inform their employees about the importance of their health and the direct impact of it on the company’s performance as a whole.

Medical Expenses

Health Care is expensive and not all medical expenses are covered by insurance. Therefore, these expenses take a major hit on one’s income or savings. According to Discover, 8% of household income on health-related expenses and some of them even spend up to 25% – making it 1/4 or 1/10 of a the total income.

What does this hint? That bad health does lead to lowering of the disposable income in hand.

Global Epidemics And Its Effect

Be it the SARs virus of 2003 or the present-day Covid-19, both have affected the economy and daily life negatively.

China’s economic growth is expected to slip this year to 5.4%, down from 6.1% last year, according to Oxford Economics (based on the impact of the virus so far). That would, in turn, reduce global economic growth for the year by 0.2%, to an annual rate of 2.3% — the slowest pace since the 2008 global financial crisis.

How Can We Help Our Colleagues?

There are many ways that can help prevent illnesses among employees and promote good health habits:

  • Create a happy and stress-free work environment to improve mental well being.
  • Hold sessions to aid employees maintain their physical and mental well being.
  • Organise a monthly health awareness week at the office that could include workshops, healthy lunches together and implementing good health practices.
  • Weekly in office or off-site physical activities or group work out
  • Other than helping employees to get better, consider work from home arrangements when being present at home or with family members is important.
Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

February 21st 2020, 5:43 pm

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