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Women On Wellness: Most Women Report Feeling Healthy, Despite Being Stressed And Having Concerns About Retirement. (Graphic: Aviva USA, In Collaboration With Mayo Clinic)

A strong relationship exists between women’s level of stress, how they feel about their financial situation and their overall health, according to a new survey by Aviva USA in collaboration with Mayo Clinic.

Three out of four women report they are somewhat, very or extremely stressed. Among those who are extremely stressed, 82 percent said they are uncomfortable with their financial situation. In addition, 58 percent of women report having gained weight in the past 10 years. That number jumps to 68 percent among women identifying themselves as extremely stressed.

The survey focused on the tie between health, stress and financial issues. In support of National Women’s Health Week, May 13-19, Aviva USA and Mayo Clinic encourage all Americans to establish habits to improve their overall health and well-being.

Although the majority of American women say they have gained weight in the past 10 years and feel stressed, nearly four out of five women consider themselves to be in good to excellent health. So why should these women worry?

“People may not think of it this way, but we all make important health decisions every day,” said Dr. Philip Hagen, medical director of Mayo Clinic EmbodyHealth and vice chair of the Division of Preventive and Occupational Medicine at Mayo Clinic. “Most of the women in this survey reported feeling healthy, but they also reported significant rates of two important health risk factors – weight gain and stress – that contribute to chronic health conditions and a poorer quality of life in the long-run. The good news is we know how to lower these risks with simple lifestyle changes we can make through small steps, but by doing it every day. The message here is that lower risk means better health – and it's doable!”

Aviva USA surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults – men and women – on their health habits and financial preparedness to uncover how these factors impact their overall well-being. The survey was conducted by Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research company. Additional key findings related to women are:

  • Only about a third of women are comfortable with their current financial situation.
  • The primary factor contributing to stress for women ages 30-54 is their financial situation, while women ages 55-70 list family/relationships as their top stress factor.
  • Women who report being extremely stressed are 3½ times more likely to be uncomfortable with their financial situation than those who are not at all stressed.
  • One out of four women ages 30-70 rarely or never exercise.
  • Fifty-one percent of women ages 30-54 admit to feeling “overwhelmed” sometimes when thinking about preparing for retirement, while 42 percent of women ages 55-70 feel the same way.

“These survey findings reveal that women often feel anxious about both their financial situation and their health,” said Chris Jones, chief marketing officer for Aviva USA. “It seems the women we surveyed feel the need to be better prepared for retirement and also would benefit from taking steps to take better care of themselves.

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