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Confronting Conventional Wisdom and 10 Tips for Health That Really Matter

Confronting Conventional Wisdom and 10 Tips for Health That Really Matter

Picture of Courtney McNamara

Conventional wisdom has led the majority of us to believe that our health revolves around the choices we make as an individual. However, research from public health demonstrates that it is the social, economic and cultural conditions we live in that really matter. While this is old news for many health researchers, most people outside public health are still unfamiliar with these ideas, especially in the US. Journalists concerned with promoting health must strive to move beyond reproducing such individualistic explanations for health. Consider the below 10 tips for health. What would you add to the list based on the area you work in?

1. Don't be poor. If you can, stop. If you can't, try not to be poor for long.

2. Don't have poor parents.

3. Own a car.

4. Don't work in a stressful, low-paid manual job.

5. Don't live in damp, low-quality housing.

6. Be able to afford to go on a foreign holiday and sunbathe.

7. Practice not losing your job and don't become unemployed.

8. Take up all benefits you are entitled to, if you are unemployed, retired or sick or disabled.

9. Don't live next to a busy major road or near a polluting factory.

10. Learn how to fill in the complex housing benefit/asylum application forms before you become homeless and destitute.

Adopted from a post at HealthyPolicies.com

Source of Tips: D. Gordon, Ten Tips for Better Health, 1999. Message posted on the Spirit of 1848 Listserv.

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