Financial slump brings in its wake many a health hazard, true, still there are ways in which it can be very much beneficial for health. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences lists a number of factors whereby the periods of economic recession making away with excessive strain and worry help maintain health.
To begin with, the study highlights the fact that all the economically hard times – namely, the recession of 1921, the years of the Great Depression starting in 1929, and another recession in 1938 – were marked with improved health conditions, longer life expectancy, and lower rates of deaths from disease and accidents, including infant mortality. Whereas the periods of the greatest economic expansion (in 1923, 1926, 1929, and 1936-1937) showed an increasing number of deaths and a drop in life expectancy.
“During expansions, firms are very busy, and they typically demand a lot of effort from employees, who are required to work a lot of overtime, and to work at a fast pace. This can create stress, which is associated with more drinking and smoking,” lead researcher Tapia Granados writes.
These harmful conditions characterized by greater stress, increased smoking and drinking accompanied by getting less sleep, are further aggravated by a higher level of traffic and industrial pollution. The risk of heart diseases grows considerably as well as the number of workplace injuries. In toto, it pushes the mortality rate up much higher than an increased suicide rate during an economic depression.
Therefore economic slumps with their unhurried and less harrowing lifestyle, allowing for a better sleep and better conditions for controlling your eating and drinking habits, can make you feel in the pink of your physical condition!
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