Adherence to optimal lifestyle behaviors is related to emotional health indicators among employees uri icon


  • Simultaneous adherence to abstinence from smoking, adequate physical activity, eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and consuming limited or no amount of alcohol has been associated with a variety of health outcomes, but not emotional health. The purpose of this investigation was to study the association between optimal lifestyle behaviors and self-reported emotional health indicators among employed adults. Emotional health indicators studied were feeling depressed, stress risk, and the impact of emotional health on daily life among employees (N = 34,603). Binary logistic regression models were used to predict likelihood of feeling depressed and risk of stress based on degree of adherence to optimal lifestyle. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to assess the association between adherence to optimal lifestyle and likelihood of emotional quality of life among employees. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status (using the area deprivation index), sleep, self-perceived health status, self-efficacy, and chronic conditions including depression. All data were self-reported except for the area deprivation index. Adherence to any 3 or 4 components of the optimal lifestyle was associated with all 3 emotional health issues studied: Lower odds of feeling depressed, reporting stress risk, and emotional health affecting daily life. Adherence to any 2 components of the optimal lifestyle metric was associated with lower odds of feeling depressed and emotional health affecting daily life. All 4 individual lifestyle behaviors had significant associations with at least 2 of the 3 emotional health outcomes studied. Adherence to optimal lifestyle is associated with significantly more positive emotional health states as measured by feeling depressed, risk for high stress, and impact of emotional health on daily life. While causality cannot be inferred, the strength of the associations warrants trials to determine the extent to which adopting positive lifestyles can result in improved mental health.

publication date

  • 2011