Half of Americans aren’t currently living a lifestyle they consider healthy, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 general population respondents found 53% don’t consider their lifestyle “healthy,” and the same number don’t feel capable of improving their health.
Respondents were split by their current household income, and results revealed those with a lower income were more likely to agree with this sentiment.
Of those with an HHI of $30–60K, about two-thirds don’t feel capable of improving their health — compared to only about half of respondents with an HHI of more than $60–100K+.
Regardless of their HHI, when asked what’s holding them back from living a healthier lifestyle, a lack of understanding topped the list — 39% don’t understand the best actions to take in order to be healthy.
Following that was being overwhelmed with different options (also 39%) and the cost (36%).
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Fullscript for World Health Day, the survey looked beyond the barriers respondents are experiencing and delved into their overall health journey.
On average, respondents said they started (or expect to start) taking their health seriously at age 36 — and, in good news, 67% are currently prioritizing their health more than ever before.
When asked which areas of their health they’re focusing on, physical health came out on top (78%), followed by mindfulness/mental health (73%) and nutrition/healthy eating (65%).
But even with physical health found to be the area respondents are prioritizing most, it was also the area they found most difficult to make positive changes to.
Seventy-five percent of respondents said it was easy to make positive changes to their mental health, while 72% said the same for their nutrition. Physical health was slightly lower, with seven in 10 respondents saying it was easy to make those impactful changes.
And respondents are aware of how the different areas of their health connect: 73% recognized that improving one aspect of their health helps improve the others.
“Making sustainable lifestyle changes are essential, but can be hard,” said Jeff Gladd, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Fullscript. “While the foundation of health involves incorporating good nutrition, physical exercise, and mindfulness into a daily routine, trying to change all at once might feel overwhelming. Instead, focus on long-term health goals by making gradual efforts to generate momentum and create healthy habits that will last.”
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they make a conscious effort to “get healthy” every day — and for many, this occurs with small steps.
In order to feel healthy, those surveyed said they’re focusing on healthy eating (43%) and regular exercise (42%), as well as taking time for themselves every day (41%).
When it comes to their health journey, respondents said they rely most on themself (41%) — followed by their partner or spouse (38%) and their doctor (37%).
Even then, 50% would like their doctor to play a bigger role in their personal health journey.
“We believe that a person’s well-being is best guided by a practitioner who can understand their goals and offer the most achievable starting point for their health journey — therefore, we weren’t surprised to see that half of respondents would like their doctor to play a larger role in their health,” said Gladd. “Through regular care, this relationship will help guide sustainable progress, as well as support any disruptions to momentum.”
WHAT’S HOLDING RESPONDENTS BACK FROM A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE?
- Not understanding the best actions to take in order to be healthy — 39%
- Feeling overwhelmed with different options — 39%
- Cost — 36%
- Lack of time — 35%
- Lack of resources — 35%
- Lack of support from loved ones — 31%
WHAT STEPS ARE RESPONDENTS TAKING, IN ORDER TO FEEL HEALTHY?
- Healthy eating — 43%
- Regular exercise — 42%
- Taking time for myself every day — 41%
- Taking vitamins and/or supplements — 41%
- Regular movement — 39%
- Cutting back on unhealthy things (smoking, alcohol, etc.) — 39%
- Seeing my doctor regularly — 39%
- Meditation — 34%
- Cutting back on screen time — 31%
- Using a standing desk while I work — 29%