A Positive Attitude for a Healthy Lifestyle
Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research recently analyzed data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and found that a positive outlook in life is associated with healthier lifestyles. The study involved more than7000 participants who provided information about their health habits, including their diets, exercise and personality types.
They found that people who believed they can influence life changes through their own behavior were the ones who also consumed healthier diets, engaged in more physical activity and avoided smoking and binge drinking. On the other hand, those who believed more in luck or fate were more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles, according to Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute. She adds that the study suggests a link between personality type and health habits.
The research also revealed that men and women differed in their views on the benefits of living a healthy life, with men seeking physical improvement while women looking forward to personal enjoyment of a healthy life. Their differences in views affected how they chose their health habits.
With these findings Professor Cobb-Clark looks forward to helping in targeting public health policies regarding obesity, which she believes must involve more than just providing people with information. She asserts that understanding the psychological foundations of people’s eating habits and activity patterns is important to appreciating what causes obesity. She adds that policy initiatives which are gender-specific may also be helpful in encouraging a healthy way of life.
University of Melbourne. Healthy outlook leads to a healthy lifestyle, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
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