Having more money does more than give you financial security; it can also give your health a boost. Studies show that health and wealth are closely intertwined. And, this relationship has little to do with being able to afford better health care. Financial security may boost your mental health and overall well-being. That’s just one more reason why it’s important to take charge of your financial future.
The Science Behind the Connection
Research from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has shown there’s a significant link between earning $60,000 a year or more and having good health. Results of a CMA study found that 66 percent of people earning at least $60,000 reported their health as good or excellent. Conversely, of the people who earned under $30,000 a year, fewer than 40 percent indicated they enjoyed good health.
Research also finds that good health isn’t just a benefit of wealth; it also can be what leads to wealth. In his book, “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals,” financial planner-turned-author Tom Corley found that wealthy people tend to share certain habits. These routines and behaviors can lend themselves to good health:
- Wealthy people tend to get up early and work on self-improvement by doing things like meditating, exercising or reading
- They eat more healthily; Corley writes that 70 percent of the wealthy people he studied ate fewer than 300 calories of junk food a day
- They avoid overindulging in alcohol
Exactly how such habits set us up for success isn’t entirely clear, but the results are hard to argue with. In his book “The Millionaire Next Door ,” affluence researcher Thomas J. Stanley had many of the same findings. Millionaires get enough sleep, they exercise and they eat right. And, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Labor Research, people who exercise earn, on average, 9 percent more than their less-active coworkers.
Boosting Your Healthiness and Wealthiness
Making positive changes — whether they’re general, life-oriented shifts or financially focused habits — is important. You’ll have something beneficial to work towards, and you can start feeling fitter right away as you see incremental improvements. Start prospering by building better habits, such as these:
- Cooking healthier meals at home
- Riding your bike to run short errands around town instead of driving
- Creating a financial vision board with goals to work towards
- Learning to budget effectively
- Meditating each day — and checking your account transactions every night
There’s no guarantee that rising early, eating right and getting a good night’s sleep will make you rich. But, the research shows that it does set you on the right track for success.