Most Minnesotans are struggling to achieve satisfactory health and well-being according to initial state results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being IndexSM announced today. When asked to evaluate their lives, 52 percent of the respondents polled in daily surveys conducted since January are classified as struggling and an additional six percent are suffering. Factors contributing to these findings include negative workplace environments and difficulty making positive health decisions about modifiable health behaviors like diet, exercise and stress.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index initiative, which is representatively surveying 1,000 Americans each day for the next 25 years, is a new and unprecedented effort to provide a daily pulse of individual and collective health and well-being, as well as solutions for a healthy America. Based on the World Health Organization™s definition of health, the initial Minnesota findings of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index were shared with an invited group of Minnesota leaders from health, business and government at an event in downtown Minneapolis.

This is a crucial metric to allow state and local governments, employers and ultimately individuals to benchmark their well-being status and then take measurable action to improve it, said Kevin McConville, Gallup Regional Managing Partner.

Additional key findings from the more than 2,800 Minnesota residents surveyed since January:

  • 60 percent of Minnesota residents are either overweight (39 percent) or obese (21 percent).
  • 71 percent of Minnesota residents have one or more health conditions, compared to 78 percent nationally.
  • 29 percent report they are not able to perform their usual activities on one or more days last month due to illness.
  • A powerful correlation between health conditions and well-being score. The average well-being score for those with no health conditions was 7.9 (classified as thriving). For those reporting four or more conditions, their average well-being score falls dramatically to 5.5 (classified as struggling).

Healthways and Gallup™s effort to gather information from 1,000 people a day for the next 25 years will inform policy makers and consumers as they work to find solutions for our nation™s health care challenges, said Cal Ludeman, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services, who served as a keynote speaker at the event held in downtown Minneapolis.

The Minnesota findings are on par with more than 160,000 national surveys conducted thus far, where 50 percent of the respondents polled in daily surveys conducted since January are classified as struggling and an additional five percent are suffering. Forty-five percent of Americans are considered thriving, compared to 42 percent of Minnesotans.

When looking at workers, the Well-Being Index data further reveal that they believe their work environment plays an important part in their overall well-being and that health conditions are having a significant impact on their productivity.

Nearly one in five full-time Minnesota workers (19.41 percent) report working in a negative work environment, nearly the same (20.34 percent) as reported nationally. Having any one of the following factors, the survey finds, is a drain on well-being:

  • Dissatisfaction with job
  • Authoritative rather than collaborative leadership
  • Lack of trust and openness at work
  • Lack of focus on individual strengths

The data provided through the Well-Being Index show that chronic conditions are taking an immense toll on Minnesotans, especially workers. We see that the majority of Minnesota residents, like most of America, are currently struggling or suffering and that they often make poor lifestyle choices, said Dr. Bill Gold, Senior Vice President of Healthways. By creating a culture of health at the workplace, we can unleash employee productivity and greatly enhance individual and collective well-being.

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being IndexSM

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is the first and largest survey of its kind, with 1,000 calls a day, seven days a week. It is designed to be the Dow Jones of health, giving a daily measure of people™s well-being at the close of every day based on the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of health as “not only the absence of infirmity and disease but also a state of physical, mental and social well-being.” The Well-Being Index will be a daily measure determining the correlation between the places where people work and the communities in which they live, and how that and other factors impact their well-being. Additionally, The Well-Being Index will increase the understanding of how those factors impact the financial health of corporations and communities. For additional information, go to

About Healthways

Healthways (Nasdaq: HWAY) is the leading provider of specialized, comprehensive Health and Care Support(SM) solutions to help millions of people maintain or improve their health and, as a result, reduce overall healthcare costs. Healthways’ solutions are designed to help healthy individuals stay healthy, mitigate and slow the progression of disease associated with family or lifestyle risk factors and promote the best possible health for those already affected by disease. Our proven, evidence-based programs provide highly specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of age or health status, and are delivered to consumers by phone, mail, internet and face-to-face interactions, both domestically and internationally. Healthways also provides a national, fully accredited complementary and alternative Health Provider Network, offering convenient access to individuals who seek health services outside of, and in conjunction with, the traditional healthcare system. For more information, please visit

About Gallup

Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Gallup™s reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world’s leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. Gallup consultants also help organizations boost organic growth by increasing customer engagement and maximizing employee productivity through measurement tools, coursework, and strategic advisory services. Gallup’s 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University’s campuses, and in 40 offices around the world. For more information, go to

Eric Nielsen, 202-715-3030
Melissa Gibbs, 615-614-4466