Gallup: Engaged workers take care of themselves

The same people who care about wellness may have a tendency to care about their jobs. (AP photo/Richard Drew) The same people who care about wellness may have a tendency to care about their jobs. (AP photo/Richard Drew)

Enthusiasm about work tends to go hand in hand with enthusiasm about having a healthy lifestyle.

Analysts at Gallup are reporting that conclusion in a summary of results drawn from the company's 2012 daily tracking surveys, which reached about 102,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

Gallup classified the 82,000 employed participants as "actively disengaged" with work, "not engaged by work" or "engaged" with work by looking at how the participants responded to questions about how satisfied they are with their jobs, how much effort they put in, and what they think about their employers.

Daniela Yu and Jim Harter, Gallup analysts, then compared the engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged participants handled questions about health-related behaviors.

The analysts found, for example, that 59 percent of the participants classified as engaged said they "ate healthy all day yesterday," and that 54 percent reported that they exercised at least 30 minutes per day at least three days per week.

Only 53 percent of the actively disengaged participants said they ate healthy throughout the previous day, and only 45 percent they exercise at least three times per week.

Analysts found in other Gallup reports that the more engaged workers are also likely to be healthier.

More engaged workers are less likely to be obese and less likely to suffer from chronic diseases, even after the analysts adjust for variables such as age, gender, race, income, education and marital status, the analysts said.

The analysts note that they cannot tell based on their analysis whether poor health behavior causes disengagement or whether disengagement leads to poor health behavior.

"Regardless, since engaged employees are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle, workplaces that actively improve engagement may end up seeing an added benefit of better employee health," the analysts said.

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