Survey: Being Fit Is Sometimes in Your Head

Some workers ignoring real state of their health

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FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Some American workers are manufacturing their own reality when it comes to their health.

Nearly 1 in 5 American workers is grossly obese, smokes, drinks heavily and never exercises, yet believes he is fit as a fiddle, says a recent national survey of 1,450 employed adults by Oxford Health Plans, Inc.

The survey found that while these workers rated their health as excellent (9 or 10 on a 1-10 scale), they tended: to be at least 25 pounds overweight (55 per cent), to smoke (31 per cent), to drink at least three glasses of alcohol a day (21 per cent), to never exercise (36 per cent), to be least likely to eat a balanced breakfast (25 per cent), and most likely to eat fried foods (24 per cent) or salty/sugary snacks (26 per cent).

The survey also found that workers who have healthy lifestyle habits, including good diet and frequent exercise, have the least amount of workplace stress and are the most motivated at work.

The healthy-lifestyle workers are least likely to lose sleep over their jobs and least likely to miss personal or family activities due to work.

About 300,000 deaths in the United States each year are linked to obesity, which causes serious health problems such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Obesity costs U.S. industry $56 billion in lost productivity each year, and smoking costs $82 billion in reduced productivity each year.

More Information

Here's where you can learn more about the social and economic costs of obesity and smoking.

SOURCE: Oxford Health Plans, Inc., news release, Nov. 13, 2002

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