I only got 4 out of 10 correct on the Health Equity Quiz. I definitely thought I would do better but was surprised by a few of the statistics and information provided. I think I was most surprised by the vast health differences across counties. Because of the close proximity, I never really thought that people living maybe 3 miles from their neighbors could have a life expectancy difference of up to 7 years!
After watching “Not Just a Paycheck” my heart sank. Maybe because it used examples from Michigan or maybe because I know so many people who are working so hard just to keep basic necessities present at their homes. As the case study associated with the videos states, jobs are very different from what they used to be. 40-hour workweeks are a rarity and one should cherish if they work only 40 hours. Today, you never know what time you’ll be home or what shift you’ll be working with all these 24hour lifestyle accommodations our culture is making; “nonstandard shift arrangements” as the case study calls them. I remember when I was younger; my mom was always home at five for dinner. Since having to move to find a better job, she works upwards of 50 hours a week plus being a 24-hour on-call physician 4 out of the 7 days.
Not only does this work lifestyle take away from time, it also takes away from your health. Health is more than just genetics and this is a prime example of that. Since you spend more time at work, there is a work-family conflict created. It becomes very hard to balance working so much and trying to spend quality time with family. This creates a base for a host of different things to develop such as anxiety or depression. As also seen in the video, some of the workers from the fridge company admitted to turning to alcohol consumption and other unhealthy habits to cope with job loss.
This was just a small clip about the employment and health situation going on in the U.S. There is a lot to be done to end the vicious cycle that has become a common way of life for too many Americans.