Poor Physical Health Days
- Number of days in the previous 30 days when a person indicates their activities are limited due to physical health difficulties.
- Number of days in the past 30 days adults report their physical health was not good. (2011 BRFSS Methodology)
Poor Physical Health Days is the average number of days in the past 30 days adults report their physical health was not good. Physical health includes physical illness and injury. The 2014 ranks are based on self-report data from CDC’s 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Because of the 2011 change in BRFSS methodology, poor physical health days from the 2012 Edition onward cannot be directly compared to estimates from previous years (see Methodology).
The average number of days adults report their physical health was not good ranges from a low of 2.8 days in South Dakota to a high of 5.0 days or more in Tennessee and West Virginia. The national average is 3.9 days.
Poor physical health days are a general indicator of the population’s health related quality of life. The number of poor physical health days reveals information about total all cause morbidity within the population regardless of disease or health condition. Along with poor mental health days, it provides insight into overall health. Poor physical health is not only an indicator of current health status but a predictor of future health and future medical care; it has been shown to be a predictor of 1-month and 12-month hospitalizations and office visits.
Healthy People 2020 uses this measure, as well as poor mental health days and self-assessed health status, to assess the general health status of the US population.
 Dominick KL, Ahern FM, Gold CH, Heller DA: Relationship of health-related quality of life to health care utilization and mortality among older adults. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2002;14:499-508.