Survey finds nearly half of Americans have trouble living healthy

ADA, Mich. While 93 percent of Americans report attempting to make everyday choices to be healthy and live well, nearly half (47 percent) struggle to do so, according to the Amway Global Wellness Index, a recent national survey of more than 15,000 Americans regarding their health and wellness.

The two main barriers that prevent people from living a healthier lifestyle are lack of time (39 percent) and the rising cost of a balanced diet (21 percent). The top three wellness challenges, according to survey respondents, are getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep and maintaining a well-balanced diet.

Forty-two percent of Americans report that the economy is having a negative impact on their wellness choices, and personal wellness issues will affect the results of the election. In fact, 33 percent of Americans claim that the candidates’ positions on personal wellness will influence how they vote this election. Current economic conditions appear to have a greater impact on the unemployed, with the wellness of 51 percent of non-working parents negatively impacted, versus 43 percent of working parents. According to survey respondents, the health decisions of women are affected more by the economy than men (44 percent versus 40 percent, respectively).

While Americans say getting enough exercise is the most challenging part of living a healthy life (38 percent), only 24 percent believe regular exercise at least three days per week is the most critical aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep is reported as the second greatest challenge (34 percent), with eating a well-balanced diet (25 percent) coming in third. Four in 10 (43 percent) aged 55 and older claim to struggle with making healthy choices, compared to 48 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds and 50 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds.

Despite a national push to make better wellness choices, Americans are sedentary the survey found. The survey shows more than one in five (23 percent)—or close to 51.7 million people—are not exercising for at least 30 minutes or more at a time on a regular basis.

According to the Amway Global Wellness Index, perception and reality don’t seem to align when it comes to weight. Forty-five percent of Americans consider themselves obese or overweight, yet the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that an estimated 66 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese (2003-2004 study). Only four percent of people perceive themselves as obese, while in actuality, more than one-third of U.S. adults were obese in 2005/2006, according to the CDC. A higher proportion of American parents (45 percent) report being overweight than do non-parents (34 percent). Further, half of those Americans who feel the economy is having a negative impact on their wellness choices consider themselves obese or overweight.

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