Survey: Half of women don't focus on their own health

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Nearly half of women don't take the time to focus on their own health, according to a survey from GCI Health, HealthyWomen, and Redbook magazine.

The survey results are being used to inform the HealthiHer movement, which aims to help women take more control of their health.

The survey and partnership between GCI Health, HealthyWomen, and Redbook, which began in October, polled more than 1,000 women ages 30 to 60 about health habits for themselves and their families. Now that the three partners have the survey results, they launched the larger HealthiHer movement, which includes a social component, health content for women, and outreach to employers about employee health.

While women make most of the healthcare decisions for their families, the HealthiHer survey showed that doesn't necessarily translate to taking care of their own health. Two-thirds of women reported they only feel "somewhat in control" of their health.

"This is phase one," said Wendy Lund, CEO of GCI Health. "Next month, which is women's health month, we're putting out a lot of content. We're also working on challenging industry leaders to help make impact with us and join us."

She explained that the target is not only women who work in PR, but also other industries where there are large proportions of women, such as nursing and teaching industries.

The survey found that of the women who are not getting regular check-ups, 77% cited job scheduling issues. This finding spurred GCI Health, HealthyWomen, and Redbook to do outreach to employers and encourage them to make sure their employees, both women and men, are taking the time to get preventive screenings and schedule doctor appointments.

The online part of the HealthiHer movement encourages women to share their moments of self-care on social media with #BeHealthiHer.

"We created #BeHealthiHer because we want to make sure we're going as broad as we humanly can to help women on social media capture those moments where they're embracing self-care," Lund said. "Showing women helping women is the most effective way."

The focus on self-care stemmed from the finding that 90% of women reported "moderate to high" stress levels, and 40% are diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Lund said GCI Health is practicing what they preach and will be encouraging employees to make time for check-ups. Some of the survey results are also going to inform future client work within GCI Health, Lund said.

"As marketers and PR people, we still have some work to do in terms of making sure we're communicating and educating women the right way about how to manage their wellness and health," Lund said.

An earlier version of this story appeared on prweek.com. 

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