Gallup and Healthways, Inc. released the monthly Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI) Report for May 2011. The WBI composite score of 66.5 remained relatively unchanged from April’s score of 66.2.
Trending with the state of the economy, the Basic Access Index hit its second lowest number on record, dropping to 82.0. This dip was led by the lowest percentage yet of Americans who visited the dentist in the past 12 months (63.9 percent). Also reflected was an ongoing struggle for Americans to get fresh fruits and vegetables and to provide adequate shelter or housing. Ease of getting fresh fruits and vegetables (90.5 percent) has continued its steady erosion since its peak of 92.9 percent in October 2010. Those with enough money to provide adequate shelter or housing at all times sunk to 89.7 percent, marking the first time since the heart of the recession in February 2009 it has been below 90 percent.
Surprisingly, out of the ordinary for seasonality trends, the Healthy Behaviors Index flattened at 63.8 setting up what may be the weakest spring/summer measurements witnessed in four years. The percentage of Americans that ate healthy (66.2 percent) and ate at least five servings of fruits and vegetables at least four days in a week (55.9 percent) both dropped two full percentage points from May 2010.
Other key findings:
– The Work Environment Index tied its second lowest score on record (46.9), still not recovering to post-recession numbers of 50.0 and above.
– Life Evaluation Index recovered slightly to 50.0 from last month’s low of 48.4, as 53.5% of Americans were thriving and 3.5% were suffering.
– Emotional Health Index improved to 79.6, consistent with seasonal expectations with 60.5 of Americans feeling less stressed and worried.
– Physical Health Index remains unchanged at 76.9, consistent with May trending. 4.9 percent of Americans were sick with a cold throughout the month and 1.6 percent with the flu.
For more information, please visit www.well-beingindex.com.