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Survey: Most Americans Think of Themselves as Healthy

Those with higher income rate their health higher than those with lower income

TUESDAY, Jan. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Seven out of 10 Americans rate their health-related behaviors and attitudes as good or excellent, according to a survey released Jan. 27 by the American Osteopathic Association.

The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, questioned 2,032 U.S. adults (from Dec. 16 to 18, 2019). Participants were asked about their work, sleep, and exercise habits as well as their concerns regarding politics, the environment, and access to health care.

The researchers found that only 60 percent of adults with a household income of <$50,000 rated overall health and wellness as good or excellent versus 81 percent of those with a household income of $100,000 or more. Respondents said they most need to personally improve their physical health (42 percent), financial stability (41 percent), and mental health (29 percent). Younger respondents more frequently cited mental health as needing improvement (ages 18 to 34 years: 44 percent; 35 to 44 years: 37 percent; 45 to 54 years: 29 percent; 55 to 64 years: 20 percent; and ≥65 years: 10 percent). Health care affordability was chosen as the most concerning issue by 51 percent of respondents. On average, respondents sleep 6.6 hours a night and exercise 6.9 hours per week. Walking was the top physical activity reported by 77 percent of those who exercise, followed by strength training/weight lifting (33 percent), running (31 percent), cycling/biking (23 percent), yoga (20 percent), sports (17 percent), high-intensity interval training (16 percent), swimming (16 percent), Pilates (6 percent), and other (10 percent).

“The good news in this survey is that most people are doing the right things,” Rick Pescatore, D.O., an osteopathic emergency physician, said in a statement. “On the other hand, when we think about whole-person health, we also consider a number of factors outside people’s control, and we’re seeing things that need improvement.”

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