Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Global Health



First Page


PubMed ID



International Society of Global Health


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province


Wang, J., Wang, Y., Guo, Z., Lin, Z., Jin, X., Niu, H., . . . Hou, H. (2023). Influence of lifestyle on suboptimal health: Insights from a national cross-sectional survey in China. Journal of Global Health, 2023(13), article 04151.


Background: Suboptimal health status (SHS) is a non-clinical or pre-disease state between optimal/ideal health and disease. While its etiology remains unclear, lifestyle is considered one of the most important risk factors. We aimed to examine the effects of lifestyles on SHS through a nationwide survey in China. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 148 cities across China between 20 June and 31 August 2022, on 30 505 participants from rural and urban communities gathered through stratified quota sampling. We measured SHS with the Short-Form Suboptimal Health Status Questionnaire (SHSQ-SF). We gathered information on participants' lifestyles (ie, smoking, alcohol consumption, breakfast habits, weekly food delivery frequency, intermittent fasting, sleep duration and physical activities) through face-to-face interview. We determined the relationship between lifestyle and SHS logistic regression analysis by based on odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: We included 22 897 participants (female: 13 056, male: 9841), 12 108 (52.88%) of whom reported exposure to SHS. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, individuals who currently smoked (OR = 1.165; 95% CI = 1.058-1.283) and those who drank alcohol (OR = 1.483; 95% CI = 1.377.1.596) were at a higher risk of SHS than those who have never done either. In a dose-response way, takeaway food consumption was associated with a higher risk of SHS, while increased frequency of breakfast and mild-intensity exercise conversely reduced said risk. Individuals with shorter sleep duration had a higher risk of SHS when compared to those who slept for more than seven hours per day. Conclusions: We observed a relatively high prevalence of SHS across China, highlighting the importance of lifestyle in health promotion. Specifically, adopting healthy dietary habits, engaging in regular physical activity, and ensuring high-quality sleep are key in preventing SHS. Registration: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR2200061046).



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Public Health Commons