In addition to a poor diet and lifestyle habits, how you live is likely another reason why you’re always feeling sluggish and sickly.

According to a recent study, the high costs of housing are taking a toll on most Americans’ health, with 11 percent of U.S. households (or one in 10) feeling severely burdened and stressed.

In the 2019 County Health Rankings, more than 800,000 homes spent at least 50 percent of their monthly earnings on housing alone. The poor health is notable in communities where housing costs are higher, as this makes them less likely to be able to afford healthy food or to buy the right amounts for nourishment. Areas with high mortgage rates and rents were also found to have higher child poverty rates. 

Between home owners who are still paying off their mortgages and those who are renting, it is latter who is more stressed because more of their income is delegated to rent. Race also appears to be a major factor in this difference, with black households having a median income of just $33,000, as opposed to white households which log $56,000. In fact, during the 2008 recession, it was the black homeowners who had it worse than white homeowners. 

As of the latest figures, around 120 million American households own homes (64 percent), while 36 percent rent. On average, those who rent have lower household incomes, and such people have limited savings and wealth.

With nothing much to draw on, especially in times of emergencies, renters are heavily burdened by housing costs. This creates a domino effect that leads to poor health and food insecurity. The same study also warns that families that have a low income and spend over 50 percent of their income on housing are at risk of being homeless.

The report authors said its findings are meant to push leaders, community heads and residents to implement changes to create communities that support a “fair and just change to lead the healthiest life possible.”