Twice as many Americans view themselves as physically fit than financially fit, which is leaving them feeling stressed about finances and wanting to do more to get their financial houses in order, according to results from the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers.

 

The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Principal, contacted more than 1,100 employees of small and mid-sized businesses with 10 to 1,000 workers in February.  

 

Far more American workers view themselves as physically fit (57 percent) than financially fit (28 percent), according to the survey. While employees report lagging financial health, the vast majority (84 percent) recognize maintaining physical health is an investment in their financial future.  

 

At the same time,46 percent of workers reported feeling stressed about their current financial situation, but that stress seems to diminish with age and among those seeking financial advice.

 

Only a third (35 percent) of baby boomers report they feel stressed about finances compared to half of Gen Y workers (51 percent). Those working with a financial professional were much less likely to feel stressed about their finances - 33 percent compared to 51 percent.

 

More American workers say they'll use their income tax refunds to beef up their nest eggs this year.

 

Half of workers surveyed who are expecting a refund said they plan to save or invest their refunds, an increase of 5 percentage points from a year ago.

 

And more than one-third of respondents said they plan to use their refunds to pay down or pay off short-term debt, and one-quarter said they'll use it to pay down long-term debt. A majority of workers - 68 percent - expect a tax refund this year.

 

"American workers recognize the long-term financial benefits of staying healthy, but financial stress is often a constant pressure that can have a significant impact on their physical health," said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at Principal. "With spring in full swing, now is a good time for Americans to apply their good fitness habits to their financial lives as well. Mark some time on the calendar for financial spring cleaning; meet with a financial adviser, set goals and take action."