10 Wellbeing Discoveries of 2012

There are a lot of factors contributing to overall health besides exercise and health eating habits - here are Gallup's top 10 discoveries from 2012.

There are a lot of factors contributing to overall health, not just exercise and health eating habits.

During 2012, Gallup published nearly 100 articles and conducted daily surveys about Americans’ health and wellbeing. Some of the results were obvious — happy employees like going to work more — while others were less so — community satisfaction leads to fewer health problems.

Here are Gallup’s top 10 U.S. wellbeing discoveries from 2012:

10. Engaged employees like to go to work

Workers who are engaged in their jobs feel just as positive on weekdays as they do on weekends, making it easier for them to go back to work on Mondays. They also don’t mind commuting to work.

9. Uptick in exercise coincides with warmer-than-usual year

This year was one of the warmest year on record in the U.S., and as a result more Americans reported exercising frequently every month compared to 2011.

8. Stay-at-home moms are more depressed

Across all ages and income groups, women who stay at home with their children are more likely than working moms to report depressions, sadness and anger, according to Gallup.

7. Use your strengths and stress less

The opportunity to use your strengths more during the day leads to more positive emotions. The more hours Americans get to use their strengths, the more energy they have, as well.

6. Physicians set good example, health-wise

This Gallup study proved that physicians are walking the walk — they are less likely than other Americans to be obese, have high blood pressure, diabetes or depression.

5. Middle-age biggest overweight risk factor

More than any other factor analyzed by Gallup, simply being middle-aged in the U.S. is linked to having a higher Body Mass Index. This held true when Gallup controlled for age, ethnicity, race, marital status, gender, employment, income, education and region.

4. Republicans are down and out

The presidential election outcome is really affecting the lives of Republicans — they lost their positive outlook on life. In November, life ratings for Republicans dropped nearly seven points while Democrats’ life ratings improved.

3. Liking where you live is good for your health

Americans who are satisfied with their community seem less susceptible to headaches, obesity and asthma than people who are dissatisfied and see their city as getting worse.

2. Fewer young adults are uninsured

The percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds without insurance declined further in 2012, perhaps not that surprising considering the new health care law allows Americans to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, now. In the third quarter of 2012, 23.4% lacked health insurance, compared to 28% in the third quarter of 2010.

1. The upside and downside of entrepreneurship

Although American entrepreneurs are more optimistic about their futures than other workers, they are slightly more stressed and worry more. And yet, entrepreneurs are actually in better health.

Read more:

Employed Most Healthy; Unemployed Least

Gallup’s Top 10 U.S. Wellbeing Discoveries in 2012 - Gallup