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 that adults self-reported their physical health was not good.
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 2015 ranks are based on self-report data from CDC’s 2014 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 2.9 days in Minnesota and North Dakota to a high of 5.0 days or more in Kentucky and West Virginia. The national average is 3.9 days, unchanged from the 2014 Edition.
Public Health Impact
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 the population’s total all-cause morbidity regardless of disease or health condition. Along with poor mental health days, it provides insight into overall health. An adolescent health study conducted in 2005 revealed that self-rated health, poor physical health days (past 30 days), poor mental health days (past 30 days), and activity limitation days (past 30 days) were significantly related to reduced life satisfaction, regardless of race or gender. Poor physical health is not only an indicator of current health status but also a predictor of future health and future medical care. Self-assessed health status has been shown to forecast 1-month and 12-month hospitalization and mortality in a sample of older adults, after controlling for demographic factors and comorbidities.
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.
 Zullig KJ, Valois RF, Huebner ES, et al. Adolescent health-related quality of life and perceived satisfaction with life. Quality of Life Research. 2005;14:1573-1584.
 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.