Voting is Good for Your Health!

Voting is Good for Your Health!

Just one week from today, many Americans will be exercising their rights and heading to the polls—that is, if they haven’t already voted early or by mail. People on both sides of the aisle are calling this the most important election of our lifetimes.

It may surprise you, but the reality is that, for a variety of reasons, many people opted not to vote in 2016. The Pew Research Center says that four years ago, 40% of adults who were eligible to vote chose to stay home. In many states, this figure was closer to 50%.

If doing your civic duty isn’t enough reason to get you and your loved ones to the polls, here’s something that might help: There is a correlation between good overall health and voting! 

According to the authors of a review that appeared in the July 2020 Public Health Reviews journal, overall, “Lower voting rates are consistently associated with poor self-rated health.”

And the opposite is true, according to another study that reported that voting participation in local elections “is positively associated with self-assessed health.”

Here’s how an article from
University Health Services in Wisconsin put it:

The relationship between health and voting is both well-researched and reciprocal. Research shows that the healthier you are, the more likely you are to cast a ballot. In turn, there is also research that shows voting can actually make people healthier. When a person is involved with civic life, they are social, efficacious and participating.” 

The well-being of teens and young adults also correlates with taking part in this most honored tradition. A 2018 study in the journal Child Development followed nearly 10,000 youth ages 11-20 for 15 years and found that those who engaged in any of three activities—volunteering, voting or activism—were not only likely to be healthier, they also had higher incomes and educational levels than those who did not. 

Another way mental and physical health are connected to voting: Politicians don’t all agree on healthcare options such as insurance coverage choices, access to care, preexisting conditions and affordability. It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, you deserve to be fully informed.  So, do some research and find out the position of your local, state and national candidates on the ballot. 

Remember, your vote can impact the level and quality of your healthcare, so don’t miss your opportunity to make your voice heard! 

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