13 July 2009

Ten Rules for Good Health

If you're lucky, you will be able to follow them all and live a long, contented life.

  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. [Or live in a community that provides excellent, affordable, public transportation.]
  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 [and hope the eligibility criteria aren't designed to prevent 60% of applicants getting the benefits they paid for].
  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.

From Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives.

I would add: Don't have experienced long-term child abuse, or be a member of a minority, or have a disability, or be a woman, or...

ETA: See also this side-by-side comparison of conventional vs. social-determinants tips for good health. My thanks to subscribers of the SDOH listserv for sending me this list. It's my understanding it has been circulating since 1999 and was originally conceived and distributed through email by Dave Gordon, Townsend Center for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol.

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