U.S. physicians led 14 professions in well-being, health

May 10, 2013 at 2:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) -- U.S. physicians led 14 professions in overall well-being in 2012 and have the best physical health among the professions examined, a survey indicates.

Nevertheless, physicians lost an estimated $247 million per year in lost productivity due to substandard health, despite the fact physicians with subpar health missed only about 0.04 days per year more than those who are in good health, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index said.

The index was based on more than 94,000 interviews conducted Jan. 2-Sept. 10, 2012, of U.S. adults who worked 30 hours or more per week.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index used respondents' self-reports of their height and weight to calculate body mass index.

Transportation workers, who made up an estimated 2.9 percent of full-time workers, reported the worst physical health overall of the 14 professions surveyed, with 86 percent with subpar health. These workers reported 1.41 unhealthy days per month and missed an estimated 0.41 extra work days per month than their counterparts in good physical health.

Among all transportation workers, absenteeism amounted to an estimated $3.5 billion per year.

For U.S. workers, the cost of above-normal weight and other chronic conditions due to absenteeism was substantial, amounting to an estimated $153 billion per year across the entire U.S. workforce, Gallup said.

The survey of 94,366 U.S. workers has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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