Monday, September 15, 2008

Living in Georgia Less Stressful According to New Survey

PRNewswire/ -- While 93 percent of Americans report attempting to make everyday choices to be healthy and live well, more than half (55 percent) of Georgia residents say they 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. Georgia residents report that the two main barriers preventing them from living a healthier lifestyle include lack of time (36 percent) and the costs associated with eating a balanced diet (24 percent).

Free YMCA Wellness Events

In support of individuals and families struggling to make healthier choices, Amway Global and the YMCA are hosting free wellness events open to the public at select YMCAs on Sept. 20, 2008, as part of America On the Move Week. As a first step, health seekers can go to http://www.inspirewellness.com/ and take the Stanford Health and Lifestyle Assessment. Then, they can bring their summary reports to a local YMCA to talk with a health and wellness staff member about steps they can take toward a healthier life. Go to http://www.inspirewellness.com/ for a list of participating YMCAs in Georgia.

Georgia Wellness Challenges:

Exercise

The survey shows that one-quarter (25 percent) of Georgia residents, versus 23 percent of Americans, are not exercising for at least 30 minutes or more at a time on a regular basis. That's well under the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation of a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day or a minimum of 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity three days a week. When it comes to the work commute, 91 percent of Georgia residents drive or use public transportation. However, when they do exercise, the focus is on general wellness (33 percent), cardiovascular endurance (25 percent) and increasing muscle tone (17 percent).

Stress

Thirty-five percent of Georgians report having a "very" or "somewhat" high stress level, according to the Amway Global Wellness Index. Forty-four percent of Georgia residents find that talking to family and friends is a highly effective way of coping with their stress. Increasing physical activity (33 percent) and sleep (26 percent) also top the list, while 16 percent turn to food for comfort and 16 percent practice yoga. Only 7 percent of residents decrease the time they spend using technology gadgets to reduce stress.

Sleep

While 37 percent of Georgia residents report that not getting enough exercise is one of the biggest wellness challenges, 34 percent also report getting enough sleep as a major challenge. Only 10 percent of Georgians judge their current state of wellness by the amount of sleep they get.

Weight

Nearly half (48 percent) of Georgia residents consider themselves obese or overweight, yet only one-quarter (25 percent) of Georgia respondents gauge their state of wellness by their current weight.

The Election, Economy and Wellness

Thirty-seven percent of Georgians and 33 percent of Americans claim that the candidates' positions on personal wellness will influence how they vote this election. Additionally, 42 percent of Americans, versus 41 percent of Georgians, report that the economy is having a negative impact on their wellness choices. For the nation, current economic conditions also are negatively affecting the wellness of 51 percent of non-working parents, versus 43 percent of working parents. And, when it comes to the battle of the sexes, the health of women is affected more by the economy (44 percent) than men (40 percent).

About the Amway Global Wellness Index

The Amway Global Wellness Index is a national survey of 15,035 American adults ages 18 and older to uncover American views toward the concept of wellness and individual, family and community wellness. Commissioned by Amway Global, the study has an estimated margin of error of +/-0.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. For more information and state-specific statistics, go to http://www.inspirewellness.com/.

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