SOURCE: Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping

Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping

June 27, 2012 11:26 ET

First Annual "Reshaping Iowa" Survey Taken by Participants of Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping Looks at Local Health/Fitness Issues

Survey Reveals More Than 80% of Respondents Think Governor Branstad's Healthiest State Initiative Won't Make Iowans Healthier

DES MOINES, IA--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2012) - Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping, a popular and rapidly expanding Midwest-based fitness franchise that has successfully graduated over 40,000 students, released today the results of their first annual student survey, titled "Reshaping Iowa." The survey, which fielded a range of questions, was meant to engage people who are actively involved at transforming their lives, both mentally and physically. Within the survey, results revealed less than 20% of respondents believe Governor Branstad's Healthiest State Initiative will make the majority of Iowans healthier. The Healthiest State Initiative announced by Governor Branstad is a state and business run program, primarily by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield®, to move Iowa to the number one ranked spot on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. Over 75% of the nearly 200 Iowans surveyed believe the sole responsibility of encouraging healthy behavior belongs to the individual, not the government or insurance companies. Less than 3% of respondents said a government program would motivate them to make healthier choices.

The number one motivator for making healthy choices (over 80%) according to respondents was having a partner or group to make those choices with. These survey results underscore the success of programs like Farrell's because they build a sense of community through their classes. Every participant in Farrell's 10-week program is assigned a coach to be their support and accountability partner and classmates work to encourage each other to reach fitness goals.

"The Healthiest State Initiative has some great ideas, but what we found from our survey is that people are motivated on an individual level internally and by small groups, not by large scale programs with government endorsements," said Lance Farrell, founder of Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping. "The survey results show us the best way to motivate Iowans is to empower them with the right knowledge and support systems, like nutritional information in restaurants and private fitness programs, to make the healthier choices they ultimately have to make for themselves."

Surprisingly, 80% of respondents felt that they would be more motivated to participate in a wellness program they had to pay for themselves versus a government assisted program. The majority of participants didn't feel they would petition their insurers or employers to pay for a program either. The survey showed the majority of respondents felt spending their own money on a program would be more motivating than participating in a program that the government subsidized. These findings help to explain why government organized fitness initiatives have struggled to make a sizable impact on the state's overall wellness as individuals feel more invested if they make their own decisions and spend their own money.

The survey had 188 respondents in Iowa and asked the following questions (percentages rounded to nearest whole number):

1. Whose responsibility do you feel it should be to encourage healthy behavior?
a) Yourself - 74%
b) Insurance Companies - 2%
c) Government - < 1%
d) All of the above - 24%

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge to people transforming themselves into healthy and fit individuals?
a) People are too busy to spend time on their health - 34%
b) Eating healthy and exercising is difficult and sometimes confusing - 32%
c) People lack direction on how to implement healthy choices in their lives - 27%
d) Other - 7%

3. How many times a week do you currently do a moderate to intense workout?
a) 0 times - 28%
b) 1-3 times - 34%
c) 4-6 times - 34%
d) 7 or more times - 5%

4. How would you rate your overall health (including physical, nutritional, mental) on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the healthiest you could be?
a) 1 - 6%
b) 2 - 26%
c) 3 - 49%
d) 4 - 18%
e) 5 - 1%

5. What would motivate you the most to make healthier choices?
a) If I had a partner or group to work out and eat healthy with - 76%
b) If a serious health condition developed as a result of my unhealthy choices - 14%
c) If my insurance company offered discounts for making healthy choices - 8%
d) The government had assistance wellness programs that I could get involved with - 2%

6. Do you feel that if food vendors (i.e. restaurants, grocery stores, etc.) offered more healthy options people would eat healthier?
a) Yes - 56%
b) No, people are going to buy and eat whatever they want regardless of what is offered - 40%
c) No, I think vendors offer enough healthy choices - 4%

7. Do you feel that restaurants (including fast food) should display, next to the menu item, the nutritional information (calories, fat count, etc) in each food they list on the menu?
a) Yes - 89%
b) No - 11%

8. If these food vendors were required to display nutritional value of all their menu offerings, do you feel it would deter you from eating unhealthy items?
a) Yes - 86%
b) No - 14%

9. Do you think you would be more motivated to participate in a wellness program that you paid for out of pocket or with a program that was taxpayer sponsored?
a) Paid for out of pocket because I wouldn't want my money to be wasted - 82%
b) State sponsored because I wouldn't have to pay directly - 18%

10. Does your health insurance pay for your 10-week challenge at FXB?
a) Yes - 1%
b) No - 99%

11. If you answered no to question number 10, would you petition your insurance company or your employer to subsidize the cost for one 10-week session?
a) Insurance company - 33%
b) Employer - 25%
c) Neither - 42%

12. Are you familiar with the Iowa Healthiest State initiative?
a) Yes - 25%
b) No - 75%

13. If you answered yes to #12, do you feel the Healthiest State Initiative will make the majority of Iowans healthier?
a) Yes - 47%
b) No - 53%

14. How do feel about a public/private partnership like the one between the State of Iowa and Wellmark?
a) I think it is a good thing because it uses private money, but can capitalize on the public awareness through the state - 29%
b) I think it's a bad thing because private and public business should always remain separate so as to keep government impartial - 10%
c) I'm not sure - 61%

15. Do you feel like Iowa's extreme winters and summers prevent its citizens from being the healthiest in the country?
a) Yes - 45%
b) No - 55%

16. Do you feel Governor Branstad should participate in a 10-week FXB challenge session?
a) Yes - 65%
b) No - 35%

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