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Jan 18, 2023
Digging into the Unique Drivers and Healthy Behaviors That Impact Vitality
a photo of an older woman walking on a bridge enjoying her life and vitality

There’s no doubt that health and wellness is multidimensional.

That was one of the findings from research by Cigna, which studied the science of vitality. The study defines vitality as the capacity to pursue life with health, strength, and energy, and finds that vitality is composed of eight interdependent, dynamic dimensions: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, financial, environmental, spiritual, and occupational. A key finding: People with high vitality have an innate ability to be in control of their lives, across these dimensions, through healthy behaviors.

Read on to learn more about the eight dimensions of vitality, and learn about some of the unique drivers and behaviors that influence them.


Physical health is a key dimension of health and wellness. By caring for their bodies, people can improve their levels of vitality. Healthy behaviors that influence physical health include quality of sleep, physical activity, and nutrition. Our research finds that adults who rate their physical health as excellent or very good have an average vitality score 22 points higher than those who rate their health as fair or poor, and people with higher vitality are more likely to report having healthy habits.

a photo of a man and a woman exercising 


Emotional and psychological well-being impacts vitality levels. Adults who report their mental health is excellent or very good have vitality levels an average of 25 points higher than those who say their mental health is fair or poor. Simple actions such as mindfulness or yoga can help drive better emotional health, leading to higher levels of vitality.

a photo of an older woman sitting on a yoga mat meditating 


Social connectivity also affects a person’s vitality levels. This includes factors such as social skills and the quality of connections among friends, family, and the community. By seeking ways to better connect with those around you, you can drive higher levels of vitality.

a photo of friends spending time with with one another 


Engaging in activities that expand your intellectual boundaries can lead to higher vitality levels. This includes taking actions that nurture your sense of purpose and pursuing new skills, passions, and goals.

a photo of a man learning to code 


Financial health and the knowledge needed to properly manage finances are intrinsically connected to people’s vitality levels, as financial security can impact the ability to take care of ourselves and free the mind from financial stress.

a photo of a woman calculating finances 


The environment and a physical surroundings can have a significant impact on vitality. This includes your relationship with nature, where you live, and the people around you.

a photo of a group of people hiking 


Spiritual well-being affects vitality levels, including your ability to manage everyday stresses, be productive, and contribute at home, work, and in the community.

a photo of a woman closing her eyes while self-reflecting 


The ability to balance work in a way that promotes health and a sense of personal satisfaction is another key driver of vitality. Our research shows that workers with high vitality are more likely to agree that their employer provides adequate opportunities to care for personal health (71%) and shows focus on wellness in actions and communications (62%).

a photo of a man on a couch working happily from home 

No matter where you are on your personal journey of vitality, there is no better time than now to work toward the healthiest version of yourself. Health is complex and multidimensional, but vitality gives us a clear roadmap to build, measure, and maintain a healthier, fuller life. Take stock of your own levels of vitality across these eight dimensions and focus your energy on the areas you feel need the most improvement. Start by taking small steps, adopting healthy behaviors into your everyday routine and, above all, taking control of the factors you can influence to live a life filled with health, strength, and energy.

Elderly couple happy and full of vitality

Read the Report: The State of Vitality in the United States

We used the Evernorth Vitality Index to survey more than 10,000 adults across the U.S. – the largest study ever done on vitality and health.

Read the full findings This link will open in a new tab.