World Mental Health Day has come and gone, and yet it would seem our lives have remained largely unchanged. The unfortunate truth is that we are often caught up with our own hustle and bustle that we forget to take a pause for our own mental well-being.
An interesting commentary by Bryce Johns, Global CEO at HSBC Life and Insurance Partnerships, pointed out a possible relationship between mental health and financial fitness.
That, I thought, was super interesting.
In his article, Bryce highlighted that only 15% of those who identified as having ‘very low mental health’ considered themselves financial fit. He asserted that the better your mental health, the better your financial fitness.
Is that true?
Understanding data: cross-sectional study
The data presented by Bryce came from HSBC Life +Factor Study. It’s a survey designed to investigate physical health, mental wellness, and financial fitness among people from Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, and the UK.
Based on what we can see so far, the study appears to be a single survey. As such, it can be considered a cross-sectional study. In essence, this means that the data is only collected once at one time point.
This is super important! While the study is able to show an association between good mental health and good financial fitness, it’s unable to ascertain which actually came first.
Remember, Bryce claimed that the better your mental health, the better your financial fitness. The truth is that it’s impossible to establish a temporal sequence (aka timeline) from cross-sectional research.
This means, it’s just as probable for good financial fitness to allow for mental health. Like his commentary highlighted, the wellness economy is US$4.5 trillion!
This means that people who are more affluent are more likely to have better access to goods and services that are could help improve their mental health, relative to individuals who are less affluent.
What does research say about poverty and mental health?
The Mental Health Foundation (UK) has previously discussed that living in poverty is linked to an increase risk of mental health problems. A 2009 study reported that individuals from the lowest socioeconomic status (SES) are two to three times more likely than people from the highest SES to have a mental health problem.
This association has been attributed to an unfair distribution of resources. In simpler terms, people with less money face greater challenges to their health and survival, and have fewer resources to adequately deal with them.
It makes sense. If you struggle to put food on the table, you are likely to have poorer health. If you are struggling to put food on the table, you money is tight. That means you have less financial resources to deal with physical health issues that may arise from diet-related physical health issues.
To some extent, it’s a vicious cycle.
Poor mental health affects pain too!
We previously discussed how social determinants of health can affect one’s mental well-being. Similarly, these issues can both directly and indirectly affect physical health.
Remember, health is not an absence of disease. According to World Health Organisation (1948), health is state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
As a chiropractor in Singapore, my primary concern is in helping people with their pain and injury. When it comes to chronic pain, physical tissue damage contribute very little to your pain experience.
Sociocultural factors such as social expectations, job dissatisfaction can influence how much pain you have. Psychological factors such as depression and anxiety, or even your general coping skills can also affect how intense your symptoms are.
Whole person pain solution
This is why a whole-person pain solution is what yields the best recovery outcomes. Your mental health and your physical health are intrinsically related.
Your overall well-being can affect your work productivity and performance, which can influence your financial fitness, which can in turn affect your mental health, to affect your physical health!
In short, it does not make sense to look at health from a narrow, singular approach. Yes, your pain may be physical, but pain science tells us that there is often no physical tissue damage involved!
It is mind boggling, isn’t it?
If you are struggling with back pain or neck pain, and you can’t seem to get better despite having sought professional help. Book in for an appointment with us to find out the difference an evidence-based, whole-person pain solution can make.
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Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.
Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.
*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.