More Sleep Please - Healthy Living Index
18 October 2012 at 8:39 am
Australian adults view having a better quality of life (67%), better mental health (40%) and not getting sick (38%) as the main motivators for living a healthy lifestyle, according to the latest Healthy Living Index.
Australians believe the two most important drivers of healthy living are sufficient sleep (64%) and eating healthily (61%).
Next are a happy frame of mind (59%) and good family relationships (57%), suggesting emotional health is just as important as physical health.
Between the sexes, men and women agree on the importance of healthy living but this is more pronounced among women. The older generations, Baby Boomers and Gen X, are generally less satisfied with their health compared to Gen Y and Gen Z.
The Index says most Australians like to keep on top of their health, with 70% having had a medical checkup in the past 12 months.
Insurance company AIA Australia's second annual Healthy Living Index Monitor ranks Australia on the Healthy Living Index as 60 out of a possible 100, just a very slight improvement on a score of 59 in 2011.
The 2012 AIA Australia Healthy Living Index Monitor is an in-depth survey of over 1,500 Australians conducted by global consumer research company, TNS, into perceptions, actions and satisfaction levels around healthy living.
The index reflects respondents' participation into four key behaviours: eating and drinking, amount of sleep, frequency of exercise and medical checkups. It is then correlated with self-ratings of satisfaction in achieving these behaviours and with overall health.
The survey found a large percentage (71%) of Australians would like to lose a little or a lot of weight. Looking at the demographic breakdowns, more women are looking to lose weight than men (78% v 64%). The older generations are more interested in losing weight with 76% of Baby Boomers and 73% of Gen X, compared to 57% of Gen Z.
Half of Australians exercise regularly while the other half does little or nothing at all. Of those who don't exercise, 56% stated they were too tired. Supporting this, the report shows Australians are not getting as much sleep as they'd like to with most of us getting an average of 6.6 hours of sleep per night, well below the desired amount of 8.3 hours.
According to the survey working lives play a big part in hindering healthy intentions. Respondents put this down to free snacks in the office (25%), office location/long commute (22%), after work socialising (18%), networking events and cocktail parties (12%) and client lunches (9%).