Unemployed people are less likely to practice good health habits compared to people who are employed either full time or part time or people who are not in the workforce, according to a new Gallup poll.
People who work full time scored 62.9 on the Gallup-Healthways Healthy Behaviors Index, which measures how often people practice good health habits on a weekly basis, compared to 60.8 for part time workers and 59.1 for unemployed workers.
However, people who were not in the workforce had the best weekly health habits and scored 66.1 on the healthy behaviors test.
People who were unemployed were 68 percent more likely to report that they smoke compared those employed full time or voluntarily part time.
Unemployed Americans were also less likely than those with full time or part time jobs as well as those not in the workforce to report eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables four or more days a week.
However, unemployed Americans and those employed full time exercised about the same with 53.4 percent in both groups reporting that they exercised at least three days in the past week.
People who were employed part time but looking for a full-time job were actually more likely to exercise on a regular basis compared to all other groups, with 55.8 percent reporting that they've exercised at least three times in the past week.
Researchers say that there are various factors that may contribute to the reason why employed Americans' generally better health habits compared with the unemployed.
One example would be that most American workplaces don't allow employees to smoke on the premises and encourage nonsmokers through reduced health insurance premiums, which can potentially lead to quitting smoking.
However, researchers noted that some workplaces can also be a source of unhealthy eating opportunities because there may be a lack of good produce options available, explaining why those who are not in the workforce reporting eating more fruits and vegetables compared to those who work.
Researchers also suggest that there could be a positive correlation between health and work, that people who make healthier life choices are more likely to hold and sustain employment compared to those who lead less healthy lives.
Published by Medicaldaily.com