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Exploring associations between the self-reported values, well-being, and health behaviors of finnish citizens: Cross-sectional analysis of more than 100,000 web-survey responses



JulkaisuJournal of Medical Internet Research
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 1 huhtikuuta 2019
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli


Background: Understanding the relationship between personal values, well-being, and health-related behavior could facilitate the development of engaging, effective digital interventions for promoting well-being and the healthy lifestyles of citizens. Although the associations between well-being and values have been quite extensively studied, the knowledge about the relationship between health behaviors and values is less comprehensive. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess retrospectively the associations between self-reported values and commitment to values combined with self-reported well-being and health behaviors from a large cross-sectional dataset. Methods: We analyzed 101,130 anonymous responses (mean age 44.78 years [SD 13.82]; 78.88%, 79,770/101,130 women) to a Finnish Web survey, which were collected as part of a national health promotion campaign. The data regarding personal values were unstructured, and the self-reported value items were classified into value types based on the Schwartz value theory and by applying principal component analysis. Logistic and multiple linear regression were used to explore the associations of value types and commitment to values with well-being factors (happiness, communal social activity, work, and family-related distress) and health behaviors (exercise, eating, smoking, alcohol consumption, and sleep). Results: Commitment to personal values was positively related to happiness (part r2=0.28), communal social activity (part r2=0.09), and regular exercise (part r2=0.06; P<.001 for all). Health, Power (social status and dominance), and Mental balance (self-acceptance) values had the most extensive associations with health behaviors. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and nonsmoking increased the odds of valuing Health by 71.7%, 26.8%, and 40.0%, respectively (P<.001 for all). Smoking, unhealthy eating, irregular exercise, and increased alcohol consumption increased the odds of reporting Power values by 27.80%, 27.78%, 24.66%, and 17.35%, respectively (P<.001 for all). Smoking, unhealthy eating, and irregular exercise increased the odds of reporting Mental balance values by 20.79%, 16.67%, and 15.37%, respectively (P<.001 for all). In addition, lower happiness levels increased the odds of reporting Mental balance and Power values by 24.12% and 20.69%, respectively (P<.001 for all). Conclusions: The findings suggest that commitment to values is positively associated with happiness and highlight various, also previously unexplored, associations between values and health behaviors.

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