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The effects of a low income on a person

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

There are many lifestyle factors and personal behaviours that can affect a person's health and well-being. One of these lifestyle factors is low income and how, if a person has a low income, this can impact a person's physical, social and emotional health.

What does it mean to have a low income?

A low income is about earning low wages and living on less than 60% of the UK's median income.

Why would a person have a low income?

There are many reasons why a person may have a low income.

  • A person may be in a job that pays low wages.

  • A person may be a single parent with a family.

  • A person may have lost their job and without a new job.

How does having a low income affect a person's physical, social and emotional health?

Impact on Physical Health

If a person has a low income they could experience ongoing illnesses as they are not able to afford nutritious food and eat a balanced diet. They may live in areas where pollution is high or the quality of housing is poor and so are prone to respiratory illnesses. They may work long hours and cannot afford to take time off to see the doctor before the illness develops in to something serious.

Impact on Social Health

If a person has a low income they could experience social problems, like isolation from friends and from family members. They may find it hard to invite people round to their house as they cannot afford extra food for entertaining and so they spend a lot of time alone. They may not be able to afford joining the gym or local sports clubs and so they cannot spend time with people outside of their work/home.

Impact on Emotional Health

If a person has a low income this could lead to stress and depression due to constant financial worries of having a low income. They could experience a feeling of low self-worth and low self-esteem as they feel there is a lack of job opportunities due to not being able to afford transport or clothing for interview.

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