Shengwei Wu 1 , 2 , Zhengzheng Xuan 1 , 2 , Fei Li 1 , 2 , Wei Xiao 1 , Xiuqiong Fu 3 , Pingping Jiang 1 , 2 , Jieyu Chen 1 , 2 , Lei Xiang 1 , 2 , Yanyan Liu 1 , 2 , Xiaoli Nie 1 , 2 , Ren Luo 1 , 2 , Xiaomin Sun 1 , Hiuyee Kwan 3 , * , Xiaoshan Zhao 1 , 2 , *
19 March 2016
Suboptimal health status (SHS)—an intermediate state between health and illness—refers to functional somatic symptoms that are medically undiagnosed. Although SHS has become a great challenge for global public health, very little about its etiology and mechanisms are known. Work-recreation balance is a part of work−life balance, and is related to stress which greatly influences health status. We therefore carried out a cross-sectional investigation between 2012 and 2013 within a clustered sample of 24,475 individuals aged 15−60 years from a population in southern China. In so doing, we hoped to illuminate the associations between work-recreation balance conditions, healthy lifestyles, and SHS. Work-recreation balance conditions were categorically defined by frequency (“rarely, sometimes, or always”). Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II) was used to evaluate the level of healthy lifestyles, and the medical examination report and Sub-Health Measurement Scale V1.0 (SHMS V1.0) were both used to evaluate health status. The ratio of SHS (46.3%) is higher than health status (18.4%) or disease status (35.3%). Overall, 4.9% of respondents reported the lowest level of work-recreation balance, and they scored lower on both the HPLP-II and SHMS V1.0 compared with those who frequently maintained a work-recreation balance. Significant association was found between work-recreation balance behaviors and healthy lifestyles ( p < 0.001) after demographic adjustment. In comparison with those reporting a frequent work-recreation balance, individuals whose work-recreation balance was categorically “rare” were 1.69 times as likely to develop SHS (odds ratio (OR): 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.49–1.92), and those with infrequent work-recreation balance (“sometimes”) were 1.71 times more likely to develop SHS (OR: 1.71, 95% CI: 1.62–1.81). These findings suggest that work-recreation balance conditions are significantly associated with, and seem to be accurate behavioral indicia of a healthy lifestyle. Poor work-recreation balance is associated with increased risk for SHS; thus, a healthier lifestyle that maintains a work-recreation balance should be promoted in order to reduce the development of SHS or disease in southern China.