IPH action areas in health inequalities: education, life skills and employment

boy and blackboard as per health impacts of education banner

How do education, life skills and employment affect health inequalities?

"Inequalities in educational outcomes affect physical and mental health, as well as income, employment and quality of life.’"

Sir Michael Marmot, 2010    

Education is an important social determinant of health. Many of the root causes of inequalities in education mirror those of health inequalities.  Improving educational outcomes amongst the most disadvantaged has the potential to make a positive impact on health inequalities. In particular, the educational level of parents can influence child and family health related behaviours. Access to and participation in education are prerequisites to achieving the health benefits that education can provide.

diagram of health impacts of education

Education, life skills and health inequalities: IPH portfolio

How can I learn more about education, life skills and health inequalities?

How does employment and work affect health inequalities?

construction worker

Employment is an important determinant of health. The type of job a person has and the working conditions he or she is exposed to affect health. Unemployment and particularly long-term unemployment pose a real threat to physical and mental health. Precarious work such as informal work, temporary work and insecure contract work are associated with poor mental health outcomes. Conversely being in good work protects health.

Unemployment is associated with socio-economic deprivation but it is also associated with the loss of structured time, social contact and self-esteem. People who are unemployed are more likely to adopt unhealthy behaviors and acquire life-limiting physical and mental illnesses.  

Employment and health inequalities: IPH portfolio

How can I learn more about employment, work and health inequalities?

Final report of the WHO Knowledge Network on Employment Conditions and health inequalities