Motivating Factors for Healthy Lifestyles

Posted June 22nd, 2012

Unhealthy lifestyles—particularly tobacco use and the set of behaviors that contribute to being overweight or obese—are a critical issue throughout the United States. Not only do they directly imperil the physical and economic well-being of consumers, they undermine the welfare and stability of employers and insurers who share the direct medical costs and indirect productivity losses of high-risk behaviors. Two-thirds of the U.S. population is currently overweight, and nearly every U.S. adult could be overweight within 40 years if current trends continue.

Wellness programs sponsored by health plans and employers seek to help individuals make beneficial changes in their lifestyle choices and health behaviors. Some individuals succeed, but too many do not. If program designers can understand the characteristics, attitudes and motivations that determine individual success, it may be possible to significantly improve program outcomes generally.

Optum commissioned GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications to conduct research that would help us understand:

  • The priority Americans place on a healthy lifestyle
  • Triggers that lead to successful behavior change for weight loss and smoking
  • Consumer secrets for successful behavior change
  • The perceived benefits of behavior change and the advantages of specific consumer strategies
  • The implications of successful consumer attitudes and strategies for employer-sponsored wellness programs

To learn about the study, download "Motivating Factors for Healthy Lifestyles: An OptumHealth Research Study."

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