Want to Live a Long Life? Stay in School

Stay in school. Get an education. Knowledge is power. All of these phrases are instilled in children from preschool on. It’s great advice and can definitely lead to some smart choices in life. But now it’s been found that getting more education can not only improve your life, but make it last a little longer.
A study published in the August issue of Health Affairs shows that the life expectancy of those who are poor and less educated has increased only slightly over the past several decades. The research also shows that in some cases, the life expectancy for those who don’t finish high school is getting shorter. Within this study, the researchers examined the trends in life expectancy from 1990 through 2008 paying special attention to how someone’s age, sex, race and education affected their longevity.
Lead author of the study Jay Olshansky stated in a news release, “There are essentially two Americas. The most highly educated white men live about 14 years longer than the least-educated black men. The least-educated black women live about 10 years less than the most-educated white women.”
Olshansky is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Knowing it can affect your lifespan provides even more motivation to get an education. It’s no secret that those who finish high school typically out earn those who drop out of high school. The earning potential continues for each higher level of education achieved. Higher earning potential isn’t just about money either. The study pointed out that black women with the least amount of education are currently dealing with high levels of obesity, which of course affects overall health. White women with the least amount of education are experiencing high levels of smoking, alcohol and drug use.
It’s hard to believe that education can be connected to so many different facets of life. For those who are contemplating continuing their education or possibly even quitting, let this motivate you to stay in school.
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