Examining relationships between multiple health risk behaviors, well-being, and productivity

Psychol Rep. 2014 Jun;114(3):843-53. doi: 10.2466/13.01.PR0.114k25w4. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Traditionally, the concept of health promotion has emphasized the reduction of health risk behaviors to reduce disease and impairment. Well-being research expands this focus to include positive constructs such as thriving, productivity, life-evaluation, and emotional and physical health. The objective of the present study was to examine the relationships between health risk behaviors and specific measures of individual well-being. Participants (N = 790) from 49 states completed a one-time online assessment that included the Life-Evaluation Index, Emotional and Physical Health Ladders, the Health Risk Intervention Assessment, and the Work Productivity and Activity Improvement Questionnaire for General Health. Life Evaluation and physical and emotional health were all inversely related to the number of health risk behaviors, with higher well-being scores associated with lower number of risk behaviors. Across the three Life Evaluation categories (Suffering, Struggling, and Thriving) the number of health risk behaviors decreased, productivity loss decreased, and emotional and physical health increased. The results add to previous research on how reducing multiple health risk behaviors can be combined with well-being, i.e., an emphasis on increasing life-evaluation, emotional and physical health, better functioning, and productivity.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Efficiency*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States