Behind closed doors many of us wonder if doctors really practice what they preach. According to a new report from the Gallup-Healthways, most American physicians do practice what they preach.
The new report revealed that, when compared to nurses and the general population, physicians are in better health and have better health habits. On the Gallup-Healthways Physical Health Index and Healthy Behaviors Index, doctors scored better than the rest of the population.
Researchers gathered data by conducting interviews with nearly 2,000 physicians and more than 7,000 nurses between January 2011 and August 2012. The physical health index included 18 different factors such as, the number sick days in the past month, disease burden, health problems that get in the way of normal activities, obesity, feeling well-rested, daily energy, daily colds, daily flu and daily headaches. The healthy behavior index included factors such as: eating healthy, weekly intake of fruits and vegetables and frequency of exercise.
The report indicated physicians scored an 86 on the physical health index and a 70 on the healthy behaviors index. Nurses scored an 80 on the physical health index and a 66 on the healthy behaviors index while employed adults scored an 81 and a 63, respectively.
As for their healthy behavior, physicians:
- Were less likely to smoke
- 58 percent exercised at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week
- 60 percent ate five servings of fruits and vegetables, at least four times a week
- 66 percent ate healthy all day the day prior to the survey
In addition, the report revealed physicians were less likely to experience chronic health problems such as:
- Heart Attack
However, education was taken into account. When researchers observed outside factors that may influence an individual's health, they found education in general plays a major role in one's health.
This report demonstrated doctors are in relatively good shape and serve as a great example of practicing healthy behaviors to reduce their risk for chronic diseases. Health experts suggest individuals practice the same behaviors of their primary care physician.