Vitality key to health, Americans not thriving, study says

Vitality is a driver and an outcome of health and work/life engagement. However, according to new research from Bloomfield-Conn.-based Cigna and Washington, D.C.-based Morning Consult, most Americans do not have high vitality.

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers attempt to measure personal vitality and how it influences overall health and productivity. They surveyed more than 10,000 U.S. adults from May 17 to June 9, 2022. According to the results, only 18 percent of people have high vitality. A combined 82 percent of people fall into the low and medium vitality categories, with a general population score of 67.4 out of 100, according to an Oct. 25 report on the findings published in USA Today

Fifteen percent of people with low vitality had poorer diets, got less sleep, and had more chronic medical conditions. According to the report, they are also more likely to be socially isolated, obese, depressed, or anxious. 

The study comes as more research shows that the U.S. workforce is struggling with burnout, mental health issues, and fatigue. These issues were also addressed by the U.S. Surgeon General on Oct. 20. 

"What you hear today is there's a lot of churn, people are very distressed about the situation with their jobs. There's something else going on because people are feeling great about themselves. So much of this is how you feel connected to your social sphere," said David Brailer, MD, PhD, Cigna's chief health officer. 

Psychologist Richard Ryan, PhD, helped develop the survey and studies links between vitality and human motivation. He told USA Today that understanding vitality is key for communities and employers to help people thrive. 

"You can have a big impact if you focus on this particular variable because it's so indicative of overall wellness. Then we can really identify routes to improve vitality," Dr. Ryan said. 

Read the complete national vitality report here.

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