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Gallup-Healthways 2010 Well-Being Index Shows Americans’ Views of Their Work Environments Declining
added: 2011-03-11

Workplace satisfaction in the U.S. has continued to decline over the past three years, according to the city and state data from The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index™ (WBI).

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index™ (WBI), a daily survey of Americans’ well-being, measures six key aspects of well-being: life evaluation, emotional health, work environments, physical health, healthy behaviors and basic access.

The Work Environment Index score has dropped from 50.9 in 2008 to 49.1 in 2009 to 48.2 in 2010, revealing increasing discontent with the U.S. work environment, including job satisfaction, trust and employee/supervisor relations.

Consistent with a challenging work environment, Americans’ access to basic necessities, including medical care, remains down -- the Basic Access Index score dropped to 82.3 in 2010, from 83.6 in 2008, although it is slightly better than the 82.1 in 2009.

“The WBI data can be viewed as an indicator of the actual state of the nation over the past three years, mirroring unemployment rates and the added pressure the employed are feeling,” said John Harris, Chief Well-Being Officer at Healthways. “Seeing the declining satisfaction in work environment is a reminder that business leaders and government must empower themselves with the tools, programs and resources necessary to increase well-being in the workplace. Making strides in this area is critical to our ability to increase productivity, lower healthcare costs and achieve sustained economic growth, while raising the well-being standard in our nation.”

Key Sub-Index Changes:

- The Healthy Behavior Index scores - which includes smoking, eating and exercise habits - improved to 64.1 in 2010 from 63.1 in 2009 and 63.3 in 2008.

- The Physical Health Index score - reflecting the number of sick days taken over the past month, disease burden and obesity – has remained essentially unchanged over the past three years; it was 76.9 in 2010, 76.6 in 2009, and 76.7 in 2008.

- The Emotional Health Index - gauging Americans’ happiness, sadness and depression levels, among other things - was up last year after declining amid the recession; it rose to 79.3 in 2010, from 78.7 in 2009, and 79.1 in 2008.

Work Environment’s Impact on Well-Being by State

South Dakota (57.6) ranks number one in work environment well-being, with Nebraska (52.8), Montana (52.4), Wyoming (52.2) and North Dakota (51) joining it to make up the top-five work environment states. Delaware (40.3), Mississippi (42.2), Louisiana (43.7), Michigan (43.9) and Nevada (44.2) reported the worst work environments this year.

The Well-Being of the Nation’s States

Hawaii, led the nation in well-being in 2010 (71.0), scoring highest in life evaluation (64.0), emotional health (84.1) and physical health (80.4). In addition, the top-ten well-being states include North Dakota (68.4), Alaska (68.3), Colorado (68), Minnesota (68) and Utah (67.9). Wyoming (69.2), South Dakota (68), Connecticut (67.9) and Nebraska (67.8) also join this group of well-being leaders.

Southern states are among the worst performing in the nation, including West Virginia (61.7), Kentucky (61.9), Mississippi (63), Arkansas (63.7) and Alabama (63.7). Michigan (64.6), Louisiana (64.3), Nevada (64.2), Delaware (64.2) and Ohio (63.8) are also among the bottom-ten performers.

“It is clearly in our nation’s best interest to provide Americans with resources to improve well-being,” said Ben Leedle, Healthways CEO. “The benefits of improved well-being serve to enhance not only an individual’s state of well-being, but also the well-being of communities at every scale: from families and neighborhoods to metropolitan areas, states and the nation. We must transform our nation’s collective vitality, and the time to act is now.”

Source: Business Wire

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