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Survey shows more Americans becoming interested in self-care

America's sleep habits
Posted at 1:30 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 14:30:08-05

SAN FRANCISCO — A new survey released today by Healthline.com indicates that more Americans are eager to have more self control in their own healthcare.

A survey of 2,020 U.S. adults conducted last month by Propeller Insights on behalf of Healthline Media, 92% of the respondents would like more control over their healthcare, 89% say they pay more attention to their health and wellness than they used to, and 79% have searched for information online about a medical concern.

“Americans today are taking more control of their health than ever before,” Healthline Media President and CEO David Kopp said. “Only a quarter are exclusively taking their doctor’s advice about an illness or ailment — the rest are looking for additional information. We pride ourselves on being an excellent online resource of quality health information for these Americans.”

Among specific and tangible steps taken, survey respondents say they're trying to improve their health by:

Staying well-rested and stress-free:
  • 57% try to reduce stress
  • 42% practice positivity
  • 41% sleep at least 8 hours each night
  • 20% meditate
  • 17% do yoga
Staying informed:
  • 33% stay informed about health topics
  • 24% research health concerns before going to the doctor
Keeping unhealthy habits in check:
  • 49% choose not to smoke
  • 33% limit alcohol intake
  • 23% avoid alcohol altogether
Keeping viruses at bay:
  • 60% wash hands often
  • 38% get a flu shot

The survey indicates that about 50 percent trust their doctors. But more consumers are turning to the internet to help diagnose their maladies.

Only about a quarter (26%) exclusively follow their doctor’s advice when they have an illness or a medical condition. And more than three-quarters (79%) have searched for information about a medical condition online.

Additionally:

  • 86% adapt their doctor’s advice to what they feel is best for them
  • 83% feel confident that they can identify their ailment through online research
  • 49% seek their doctor’s advice but gather additional information before deciding on treatment
  • 18% do independent research before speaking with their doctor

And interestingly, 29 percent say they prefer to diagnose themselves online instead of seeing a doctor.

“Independent research is always a good idea,” added Kopp. “But we recommend against using the internet exclusively to diagnose an ailment or illness. Always be mindful of the health sites you visit, because you want the information to be evidence-based and clinically vetted. Bottom line, if you’re feeling poorly, check online -- and go see your doctor.”

This survey provides an interesting take in how opinion about how medicine in changing during this millennium.