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Taking Responsibility for Own Health Often Not Enough

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Most people want to take responsibility for their health but many fail to follow through with healthy lifestyle habits, finds a new survey.

The statewide poll of Pennsylvania adults aged 21 and older found that 93.3 percent of respondents believe they are more responsible for their personal health than their doctor, 4.3 percent said their doctor was more responsible and 2.3 percent didn't know.

The survey also found that 32.5 percent of respondents said they do not engage in planned exercise on a weekly basis, 48.7 percent exercise three or more times weekly, 43.4 percent get two or more hours of exercise a week, and 39.1 percent exercise less than an hour a week.

Only one-quarter of respondents said they avoid high-salt foods and less than one-third pay attention to the amount of salt in foods they consume, according to the survey by the Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED).

In addition, only one in five participants said their employer offers a wellness program, and only about 5 percent said their employer offers healthy snack options in vending machines, the survey found.

"I'm glad to see that Pennsylvanians believe they are more responsible for their own health. That's a good start, but you can see how it can be a struggle as there are many hurdles to clear if they want to achieve better health," PAMED president Dr. Ralph Schmeltz said in a society news release.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines what you can do to maintain your health.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Medical Society, news release, March 16, 2011

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