Demographic statistics and literature steadily point to a correlation between formal education and various adverse individual health outcomes, including diseases, accidents, picking up bad habits like smoking and drug abuse, mental disorders, and even mortality due to different causes.
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Most sources point to the fact that people who have received full education and high-achievers, in particular, have overall a reduced probability of chronic diseases, lead healthier lifestyles and are more inclined towards positive health choices, like better nutrition.
However, very few sources focus on the immediate effects of education on student well-being during the study. For example, education has been found to have a positive correlation with alcohol and drug use and can have a noticeably adverse impact on general happiness or well-being (Feinstein, Sabates, Anderson, Sorhaindo, & Hammond, 2006).
One of the primary reasons for this tendency is the reduced levels of physical activity, and, as a result, physical fitness, which results from the intensive study. While this problem is usually limited to bursts of college activity during the busy parts of the year, it can still cause the students sufficient distress, and lead to physical illness. Since physical fitness often is tied to nutrition, drop-in fitness can also lead to problems with the digestive tract and even obesity
Additionally, the increased study can lead to elevated stress levels. This is a self-perpetuating issue since stress can reduce performance, impede the ability to memorize data and effectively divide attention, and focus on the material, leading to more stress (Leblanc, 2009). Overall, there is a significant connection between daily stress and development of health issues such as headaches, bodily pains, sore throat, flu and colds, and statistical data points to the fact that people with low-stress tolerance can easily descend into sickness even at low levels of stress (Delongis, Folkman, & Lazarus, 1988).
Delongis, A., Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1988). The impact of daily stress on health and mood: Psychological and social resources as mediators. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(3), 486-495. Web.
Feinstein, L., Sabates, R., Anderson, T. M., Sorhaindo, A., & Hammond, C. (Eds.). (2006). Proceedings from OECD ’06: Measuring the Effects of Education on Health and Civic Engagement.
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Leblanc, V. R. (2009). The Effects of Acute Stress on Performance: Implications for Health Professions Education. Academic Medicine, 84(Supplement). Web.