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Socioeconomic Status and Health: Impact Analysis on Individual Wellbeing

  • 06 Pages
  • Published On: 18-11-2023

Using the example from the UK, discussing the ways in which a person’s socio economic class and his/her situation can have an impact on his/her health

Introduction

The social economic factors have crucial impacts on the health and wellbeing of the individuals, where the individuals in the society can live a good and healthy lifestyle if he or she have standard socio economic status, where the social economic factors include education, occupation, health and safety and income, which the major drivers for the individuals to lead a normal life (Mears et al., 2019). The aim of the essay is to analyse the impacts of the social economic status of the individuals on the health condition, where the current situation, living standard of the human being as well as the environment of staying in the society safely depend on their income source, employment status, occupation, education and wealth. Through the data and information about the UK social economic status, it is possible to demonstrate the effects of the socio economic factors on the health condition of the individual, where the person can maximise their wellbeing if he or she is able to afford good life style and health care management. The health condition of the individual includes the physical and mental health and through the analysis, it can be evaluated whether the income class and social status has its impacts on the health condition of the individuals in living in the society.

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Impacts of socio economic class on person’s health

The socio economic factors have its impacts on the living condition, where the major factors are such as education, poverty, income source, occupation and environment. For example, the UK has 99% literacy rate, which indicates there education system is good and the participation of the children and adults in education is also good (Handel et al., 2020). This is beneficial for the individuals in the UK to get effective employment in future and have secure source of income. This is one of the major indicators of health, where the people can maintain good health condition in living healthy (Mears et al., 2019). Education system broaden the mindset of the individuals where the people can improve their physical and mental health condition, and they can acknowledge the ways to lead a healthy life style through healthy diet, doing daily exercise and participating in the social programs actively (Handel et al., 2020). Hereby, good education as well as the social class in the economy of the UK has direct impacts on the health and wellbeing of the individuals (Cummins, 2018). On the other hand, poverty is another indicator, where the poverty rate in the UK has been increased from 22.1% to 23.2% in the year of 2017-18, and the child poverty has also been increased from 30.3% to 33.4%. The poverty indicator is also another important factor through which the health condition of the individual can be evaluated (Gov.uk., 2020). If there is poverty, the health condition of the people is deteriorating over the period of time, as the individual cannot afford effective health and social care services in the UK. Though there is publically funded health care system in the UK, NHS, it is difficult for the lower socio economic class to afford the appropriate health and social care services in the UK (Trading Economics, 2020).

On the other hand, income is another major socio economic factor that determines the health condition of the people living in the society (Vukojevic et al., 2017). The salary of the person is the indicator of health condition. As per the analysis, if the income status of the individual is high, he or she can afford good health and social care services in the economy and get effective treatment to overcome their health issues. This further helps to improve the physical and mental health condition of the person in the society (Jiao, Xu and Liu, 2018). On the other hand, if there is no such secure income sources, the individual cannot get mental peace and they also are not able to access the health and social care services to lead a healthy life style (Mears et al., 2019). They cannot afford good and healthy foods as well as they are also not able to access the health care services to improve their health condition (Handel et al., 2020). Hereby, there are positive impacts of the income status and the health condition of the people in the UK. As per the analysis, the UK average earning has been increased in the last year by approximately 2.9%, and it is considered to be a positive indicator of being healthy and access all the necessities in living a good life style (Gov.uk., 2020). The salary structure of the individuals in the UK is being increased over the period of time, which further indicates that, the individuals can fulfil their basic needs and lead a normal life like others (Vukojevic et al., 2017). They can maintain good physical and mental health and afford the necessities in the society. However, there are income inequalities in the UK, and it has been increased in the previous year reaching to 34.7%, which is not good for the society, as it refers that, there is inequality between the rich person and the low income earners. Hence, there is poverty in the UK, where the individual are not able to fulfil their basic needs due to lack of earnings (Trading Economics, 2020).

In addition to this, good social class and income status of the individual refers that; the individual can afford to stay in healthy environment (Vukojevic et al., 2017). It is the basic needs of the person to get safe environment. Good social class and having secure income source help the individual to afford a good environment, with safety and security, hygiene and infection control, where they can lead a good living standard. Safety and security is mandatory for the individuals in living in the society as well as hygienic factors must also be maintaining efficiently (Wu et al., 2018). The individuals are also successful to manage the hygiene and infection control system in the environment, if he or she has secure income sources and occupation, and this leads to good standard of living, where they can avoid harmful impacts of pollution and infection (Handel et al., 2020). Lack of income source and poor social class indicates that the person do not have adequate money to fulfil their basic needs and most of the individuals become addicted to alcohol, smoking and other substance use, which further deteriorate the physical and mental health. This further deteriorates the life expectancy rate and increases the death rate of the economy UK (Vukojevic et al., 2017). On the other hand, the individual with high economic class can afford the health and social care services and they can improve their standard of living. However, among the high income class, the issues exist such as depression, addiction to alcohol as well as other issues related to health, but if they are able to stay healthy, they can maximise their wellbeing. Hence, there is linkage between the socio economic class and the health condition of the individuals, where high income earners and social class can afford a good and healthy life style (Wu et al., 2018).

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Conclusion

It can be concluded that, the social economic factors have its important impacts on the individual health condition, where it is possible for the person to improve their wellbeing in long run. The social class with good education, safe environment and peaceful atmosphere has positive impacts on the health condition of the individuals. On the other hand, the economic status, employment and occupation also have its effects on the livelihood of the individuals. Though there is income inequality, the individuals are able to afford the health care services and improve their wellbeing as well in long run. The individual below poverty line cannot afford a healthy life style, good food and health care for which they are suffering from poor health condition. On the other hand, the individuals with high economic status with armament employment status can afford the health care, get mental peace, and afford food to lead life with a good standard of living condition. However, there are some individual with high economic class, who misuse their money and become addicted to substance use and lead an unhealthy life. This further deteriorates the physical health condition as well as increases mental illness due to lack of peaceful situation. This is also a critical case, where though the individual has socio economic class, he or she is unable to maximise wellbeing in leading a healthy life in the society. But, generally, high socio economic status lead to a good wellbeing and an effective standard of living, where the individuals can lead a normal and healthy lifestyle, and they are also able to afford good and healthy food, maintain healthy diet, go for daily exercise and access the health and social care services for living healthily. Hence, it can be stated that, there is positive linkage between social economic status and the health condition of the individuals, where the individual can maximise the standard of living if he or she belongs to high socio economic class.

Reference List

Cummins, I., 2018. The impact of austerity on mental health service provision: A UK perspective. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(6), p.1145.

Gov.uk., 2020. Household income inequality, UK: financial year ending 2019. [online] Accessed on: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/householdincomeinequalityfinancial/financialyearending2019#:~:text=Main%20points,with%20their%20FYE%202011%20levels [Accessed on 1 November 2020].

Handel, B.R., Kolstad, J.T., Minten, T. and Spinnewijn, J., 2020. The social determinants of choice quality: Evidence from health insurance in the netherlands (No. w27785). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Jiao, K., Xu, M. and Liu, M., 2018. Health status and air pollution related socioeconomic concerns in urban China. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17(1), pp.1-11.

Mears, M., Brindley, P., Maheswaran, R. and Jorgensen, A., 2019. Understanding the socioeconomic equity of publicly accessible greenspace distribution: The example of Sheffield, UK. Geoforum, 103, pp.126-137.

Trading Economics, 2020. UK GDP and PPP. [online] Accessed on: https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/gdp-per-capita-ppp [Accessed on 1 November 2020].

Vukojevic, M., Zovko, A., Talic, I., Tanovic, M., Resic, B., Vrdoljak, I. and Splavski, B., 2017. Parental Socioeconomic Status as a Predictor of Physical and Mental Health Outcomes in Children—Literature Review. Acta Clin Croat, 56(4), pp.742-8.

Wu, C.C., Lin, C.H., Chiang, H.S. and Tang, M.J., 2018. A population-based study of the influence of socioeconomic status on prostate cancer diagnosis in Taiwan. International journal for equity in health, 17(1), pp.1-11.


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