Self-perception of health varies by gender differences

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In a recent study, released online in the American Journal of Health Behavior, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found gender differences in self-perception of one’s health.

The findings were based on data gathered from a 2016 workplace wellness center member survey. 2,784 respondents, most of whom were female, and in mid-adulthood, participated in the study.

In the survey, researchers assessed gender differences in self-perception of health (SPH). Information such as health conditions, confidence in sustaining healthy habits, stressors, and current status of health, were assessed to better understand SPH and self-efficacy.

According to Richa Sood, the study’s co-author: “SPH was similar between genders despite more men reporting health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cigarette smoking. Women had higher self-efficacy about maintaining healthy diet, but the difference was not clinically meaningful. Women had lower self-efficacy in their ability to maintain physical activity.”

Among both genders, their self-perception of health were similar in nature, this was despite an increased risk of disease in men. Sood adds: “Women had lower self-efficacy in their ability to maintain physical activity level but similar self-efficacy for maintaining healthy diet.”

“These differences may inform the design of tailored wellness programs to meet the needs of both genders.”

“Our findings suggest that confidence in maintaining health habits can be influenced by gender and also depends on which specific habit is being assessed — physical activity, for example, versus diet,” Sood concluded.