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Evidence of Specific Healthy Behaviors Positively Associated with General Life Satisfaction among Rural Adults

DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2015.66015, PP. 161-169

Keywords: Life Satisfaction, Healthy Behaviors, Adults, Rural Areas

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Abstract:

Background: Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide. Evidence suggests that infrequent adopting healthy behaviors correlated with many chronic diseases. Healthy behaviors can lead to a marked reduction of morbidity and mortality. Life satisfaction is an important parameter of well-being. Few studies have focused on the association between healthy behaviors and life satisfaction among adults in rural areas. Aim: To establish the determinant and modifiable lifestyle factors associated with life satisfaction among rural adults. Methods: We analyzed our previous health promotion program in a rural area in 2013 obtained from 27 villages (n = 8024) in Yunlin County, Taiwan. The assessment comprised one question assessing self-reported life satisfaction on a 5-point scale (dichotomous: low satisfaction/high satisfaction) and four domain-specific items of health-related behaviors (smoking, oral hygiene, exercise, healthy diet). Logistic regression was used to examine the association between health-related behaviors and life satisfaction adjusted for age, sex, and education. Findings: The mean age was 47.6 years (SD = 16.2), and 56.7% (n = 4551) of the participants were female. Participants with lower life satisfaction reported frequently perceived dissatisfaction with sleep quality (p < 0.001) and health status (p < 0.001). After adjusting for potential confounding variables, the associated risk factors for lower life satisfaction were smoking (OR = 1.20, p = 0.006), less frequently adopted healthy behaviors including dental check (OR = 1.23, p < 0.001), infrequent teeth brushing (OR = 1.12, p = 0.022), infrequent use of dental floss (OR = 1.12, p = 0.028), infrequent consumption of a balanced diet (OR = 1.64, p < 0.001), insufficient vegetable intake (OR = 1.19, p = 0.001), insufficient water intake (OR = 1.14, p = 0.009), and infrequent regular exercise (OR = 1.26, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The findings showed that many adults did not adopt healthy habits in their life. This study identified significant unhealthy behaviors associated with lower life satisfaction, including cigarette smoking, unhealthy diet, poor oral hygiene, and physical inactivity. The enhancement of health promotion programs to improve life satisfaction through decreasing unhealthy habits is necessary for rural adults.

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