The Healthy Habit Test

To find out just how healthy a lifestyle you lead, take this simple test. The results will help you determine which of your health habits, if any, need improvement.

Directions:
Put a check beside each statement that applies to you, then tally your score at the end.

Alcohol Use

(If you do not drink, check all five items even though some items would not apply.)

___ I drink less than two drinks a day.
___ In the past year, I have not driven an automobile after having more than two drinks.
___ When I'm under stress or depressed, I do not drink more.
___ I do not do things when I'm drinking that I later regret.
___ I have never experienced any problem because of my drinking.

Tobacco Use

(If you have never smoked, check all five items even though the last two items would not apply.)

___ I have never smoked cigarettes.
___ I haven't smoked cigarettes in the past year.
___ I do not use any other form of tobacco (pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco).
___ I smoke only low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes.
___ I smoke less than one pack of cigarettes a day.

Blood Pressure

___ I have had my blood pressure checked within the past six months.
___ I have never had high blood pressure.
___ I do not currently have high blood pressure.
___ I make a conscious effort to avoid salt in my diet.
___ There is not a history of high blood pressure in my immediate family.

Weight and Body Fat Levels

___ According to height and weight charts, my weight is average for my height.
___ I have not needed to go on a weight reduction diet in the past year.
___ There is no place on my body that I can pinch an inch of fat.
___ I am satisfied with the way my body looks.
___ None of my family or friends or health care professionals have ever urged me to lose weight.

Physical Fitness

___ I do some form of vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes a day three times a week or more.
___ My resting pulse is 70 beats a minute or less.
___ I don't get fatigued easily while doing physical work.
___ I engage in some recreational sport such as tennis or swimming on a weekly basis.
___ I would say that my level of physical fitness is higher than most of the people in my age group.

Stress and Anxiety

___ I find it easy to relax
___ I am able to cope with stressful events as well as or better than most people.
___ I do not have trouble failing asleep or waking up.
___ I rarely feel tense or anxious.
___ I have no trouble completing tasks I have started.

Automobile Safety

___ I always use seat belts when I drive.
___ I always use seat belts when I am a passenger.
___ I have not had an automobile accident in the past three years.
___ I have not had a speeding ticket or other moving violation for the past three years.
___ I never ride with a driver who has had more than two drinks.

Relationships

___ I am satisfied with my social relationships.
___ I have a lot of close friends.
___ I am able to share my feelings with my spouse or other family members (or both).
___ When I have a problem, I have other people with whom I can talk it over.
___ Given a choice between doing things by myself or with others, I usually choose to do things with others.

Rest and Sleep

___ I almost always get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
___ It rarely takes longer than 20 minutes for me to fall asleep.
___ I wake up few, if any, times during the night.
___ I feel rested and ready to go when I get up in the morning.
___ Most days, I have a lot of energy.

Life Satisfaction

___ If I had my life to live over, I wouldn't make very many changes.
___ I've accomplished most of the things that I've set out to do in life.
___ I can't think of an area in my life that really disappoints me.
___ I am a happy person.
___ As compared to the people with whom I grew up, I feel I've done as well or better than most of them with my life.

Scoring

Record the number of checks (from 0 to 5) for each area. Then add up the numbers to determine your score.

_____Alcohol use
_____Tobacco use
_____Blood pressure
_____Weight and body fat levels
_____Physical fitness
_____Stress and anxiety
_____Automobile safety
_____Relationships
_____Rest and sleep
_____Life satisfaction

_____TOTAL

Interpreting Your Score

A score of 40 to 50 indicates a healthier-than-average lifestyle.
A score of 25 to 39 indicates an average lifestyle.
A score of 0 to 24 indicates a below-average lifestyle (and need for overall improvement).
A score of less than 3 in any one area indicates a need for improvement in that particular area.

SOURCE: John Cavendish, EdD, Assistant Professor of Health Education, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV