Which "Healthstyle" Are You?
nine out of 10 Americans fall into one of seven "healthstyle"
categories, based on their perceptions of health and wellness.
"healthstyles" were defined through a study by Washington, D.C.-based
Porter/Novelli, which examined which values influence how an individual
perceives health and wellness. The study surveyed 3,000 adults, ages 18
used five core health behaviors and related beliefs to create the
profiles for the different health personalities. They based these on
topics that are frequent subjects of public education campaigns and
those that figure into America's health agenda. The core health
Diet and nutrition;
profiles provide valuable insight into the psychological make-up and
routines of audience segments that have not, until now, been
well-identified," said Edward Maibach, Ph.D., senior vice president and
the study's primary author.
The seven "healthstyles" are:
Decent Dolittles, who make up approximately 25 percent of the
population, are one of the less healthy groups. They are unlikely to
smoke or drink but are also unlikely to exercise or eat nutritiously.
Dolittles know what they should be doing and many responded that they
would like to be on the right track, they just lack the confidence
needed to do so. They are most likely to be middle-aged women.
Active Attractives, the youngest defined group, tend to eat
nutritiously, are unlikely to smoke, and exercise pretty regularly in
an effort to control their weight but, despite their actions, tend to
be heavier than members of other groups. They like to party and alcohol
consumption plays a big role in their socializing. This may account for
their weight. They are more likely to be men.
Hard-Living Hedonists are one of the least health-oriented groups. They
make up only 6 percent of the population and 82 percent are under age
55. They like to live hard with the goal of having a good time. This
group smokes and drinks heavily and tends not to see smoking as
detrimental to their health. While they will acknowledge that drinking
may be harmful to them, they have no intention of altering their habit.
Hard-Living Hedonists also have little interest in eating a low-fat
diet. Surprisingly, this group does not tend to be overweight, probably
because they tend to be physically active due to work activities. They
tend to be in their early or middle adult years.
Tense but Trying.
This 10 percent of the population is interested in wellness and shares
many qualities with some other groups but they tend to smoke. This
creates a tension between being health-oriented and being a smoker. The
study concludes that many may be interested in wellness in an effort to
make up for their smoking habit. The Tense but Trying seem to do their
best to stay healthy, outside of their smoking. They exercise, limit
the fat in their diets and try to control their weight. This group,
which tends to be made up of middle-age women, is the most anxious and
exhibits the highest rate of ulcers, uses more sedatives and are more
likely to consult a mental health counselor than the other six groups.
As the name might suggest, this 7 percent of the population is the
least health-oriented of all the groups. They don't embrace the idea
that people should take steps to improve their health and consistently
do not participate in health promoting behaviors. They eat fatty foods,
smoke heavily and have a dislike of exercise. They do not try to
control their weight. This group is also unlikely to wear seatbelts.
Nihilists have the highest number of sick days and use the most
painkillers and sedatives. They do not tend to visit doctors but have
the highest rate of visits to a mental health professional.
Non-Interested Nihilists are most likely to be men in their early to
Physical Fantastics are the group most concerned with wellness. This 25
percent of the population accept that smoking, drinking, fatty diets
and sedentary lifestyles can cause health risks. Their lifestyles
reflect this and they limit their smoking and drinking. They eat
nutritionally, exercise regularly and try to control their weight. This
group tends to be middle-aged to older and to suffer from chronic
conditions such as diabetes. The study suggests that it was their
illness that brought many in this group to become more wellness-minded.
Younger members of this group tend to be in excellent health. Physical
Fantastics are most likely to comply with the suggestions of their
doctors. They are most likely to be female.
This group is currently very healthy. They are young and do not
practice unhealthful habits and they do tend to exercise. They are the
trimmest of all the groups. However, the passively health tend to be
ambivalent about their health. The Passively Healthy are less likely to
find good health and physical fitness important and don't put much
effort into their good habits. This 15 percent of the population tends
to be male.
Address: Porter/Novelli, 1120 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-3902; (202) 973-5800, fax (202) 973-5858.
Copyright 1999 Health Resources Publishing