May 1, 2008 — Most Americans are struggling to achieve satisfactory health and well-being according to initial results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. When asked to evaluate their lives based on a ladder scale, 47 percent of the 100,000 respondents polled in the 1,000 daily surveys conducted since January say they are struggling and an additional four percent say they are suffering. Factors contributing to these findings include negative workplace environments and difficulty making positive health decisions about modifiable health behaviors like diet, exercise, and stress.
The Well-Being Index data has implications for the American workplace and reveals that workers believe their work environment plays an important part in their overall well-being. Among the nearly 46,000 full-time workers surveyed to date:
• Nearly two-thirds are obese or overweight (25 percent obese, 40 percent overweight);
• Two-thirds report one or more chronic diseases or recurring conditions;
• More than 20 percent report they are not able to perform their usual activities on one or more days last month due to illness. These workers reported being out sick an average of six days in the last 30 ;
• Workers with one to three diseases and/or conditions report they cannot carry out their usual activities on 13.5 days each year. The impact of a negative work environment is an additional 6.6 days (48 percent higher) annually. Workers with four or more disease conditions report they cannot carry out their usual activities on 52.7 days each year. For these workers, the presence of a negative work environment increases that total to 68.9 days (a 31 percent increase).
Source: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, www.well-beingindex.com