Here’s What Health Means To People In 2023

Spoiler alert: It’s far from one-dimensional.

by Isabella Biedenharn
Originally Published: 
Roman Chazov/Shutterstock

The relationship between humans and health is an ever-evolving one. We’ve sought wellness in everything from the medicinal leeches of yore to the Peloton craze of the early pandemic era. When it comes to figuring out how to live our best (and happiest) lives, there’s no shortage of trends, fads, and varying viewpoints.

Since we’re nearly a month into 2023 (and several months into flu season, and three years into COVID-19), it begs the question: What does health mean to us now? OnePoll conducted a new survey, commissioned by Noom, of 8,000 adults from around that world that dives into our relationship with our own health. The findings shed a fascinating light on where things stand. To start, it turns out that a whopping 78% of respondents (roughly 4 out of 5 people) say they currently feel “healthy” — whatever that may mean for them.

One reason for this staggering stat could be that folks are taking a more holistic approach to health and are incorporating mental, financial, relationship, and other forms of health into their overall wellness. So what does this mean for the state of health going forward? Ahead are some of the key findings from the survey.

1. Holistic health extends far beyond the physical.

As complex human beings, we’re far from one-dimensional, and the same holds true when we talk about our health. OnePoll’s survey found that U.S. respondents are acutely aware of the mind-body connection, citing both “exercising regularly” (32%) and “being emotionally happy” (24%) as definitions of health.

Of course, it’s one thing to know that mental and emotional factors play into our health and happiness, but it’s another to actually find an equilibrium. Stress — unsurprisingly — is a major deterrent to psychological health. Among survey takers, the most stressful aspects of their lives include physical health concerns (48%), the economy (43%), finances (41%), jobs (40%), and personal responsibilities (32%).

2. Physical health is equal parts crucial and challenging.

One silver lining of the pandemic? 53% of OnePoll respondents say that they take their health more seriously since the onset of COVID-19.

What do people feel interfere with that pursuit of physical health? Maintaining family and caregiving responsibilities (17%), romantic lives (14%), and friendships (11%) are top concerns.

It’s crucial to find pockets of time to focus exclusively on taking care of yourself. One of the best ways to make that time a permanent part of your day is to schedule it in and make it a habit.

3. External support helps habits stick.

According to OnePoll, 44% of Americans say they’ve picked up good habits in some capacity since the pandemic began, with 66% reporting that they’ve adopted at least five new habits into their daily routine. (If you needed inspiration to start journaling, meditating, taking long walks, or experimenting with sobriety, consider this your sign!)

Among the folks who have managed to make these good habits stick, one thing stands out: Oftentimes, they haven’t done it alone. 25% of responders say support from family and friends has been key in staying accountable, while 25% cite mental health professionals as a positive influence, and 24% attribute their success to digital health programs.

No matter what your relationship with health looks like at the moment, approaching your own wellness from a holistic point of view is the first step to achieving the goals that’ll make you feel like your best self in 2023.

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