Abstinence from Tobacco and Healthy Thinking Linked to Greater Life Satisfaction

In order to develop a strategy to promote life satisfaction with equity for a diverse insured population, researchers conducted a survey of a stratified random sample of adult health plan members. The survey asks about adequacy of physical activity, healthy eating, abstinence from tobacco, limited alcohol consumption, adequate sleep, and whether the respondent takes time to think about the good things that happen to them (hereafter referred to as “healthy thinking”).The association of demographic characteristics and the 6 behaviors with life satisfaction was assessed. All 6 behaviors were positively associated with life satisfaction, but healthy thinkingwas the behavior associated with the greatest difference in life satisfaction between individuals who did and those who did not practice the behavior. Members insured through Medicaid or who had a psychosocial diagnosis tended to report significantly lower levels of life satisfaction, two-thirds of the opportunity to improve life satisfaction across the member population was among individuals with neither of these attributes. The researchers concluded that the most effective strategy to promote both overall life satisfaction and equity will address social determinants for members with unmet social needs, provide the behavioral and mental health services that benefit members with these needs, and promote healthy lifestyles with an emphasis on healthy thinking for the entire population.Source: Kottke et al. (2020). A strategy to promote population-wide life satisfaction while advancing equity. American Journal of Managed Care, Oct 1, 26(10), e305-e311.

Read the abstract here.

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