AIA Sri Lanka has released the Sri Lanka results of AIA’s 2016 Healthy Living Index Survey, which is carried out across Asia-Pacific. In the survey an astounding 95 percent of Sri Lankans acknowledge that there are definitely things they can do to improve their health but only 8 percent have taken major steps towards healthy living! So, whilst Sri Lankans have a high awareness of the importance of healthy living, we are not really doing much about it!
AIA’s landmark survey of over 10,000 adults across 15 markets in Asia Pacific is a composite measure taking into account people’s satisfaction with their own health as well as their various behaviours. So, the survey not only asked people about what they think is important for a healthy life but also required them to give a self-assessment rating.
And this is where the Sri Lankan gap was revealed. Whilst Sri Lankans were acutely aware of the importance of healthy living drivers, our self-assessment on how well we adopted those habits really let us down! For example, 86 percent understood the importance of eating healthy food (compared to the regional average of 58 percent), but only 54 percent gave themselves a good rating in this aspect (-32 percent gap). Similarly, 81 percent agreed that regular exercise was important (against the regional average of 56 percent), but only 63 percent said they do so (-39 percent gap). The average time exercised is only 2.1 hours a week.
Sri Lankans also seem to be slacking when it comes to medical checkups with less than half (49 percent) having had a medical check in the past year, despite high concerns about various medical conditions. Also, whilst 83% agreed that sufficient sleep is key to a healthy life, only 58 percent actually got enough snooze time (-25 percent points gap).
Interestingly, despite this rather nonchalant attitude towards adopting healthy habits, 48% of Sri Lankans cite wanting to live longer as a reason for wanting a healthier life, which was significantly higher than the regional average of 15 percent. Also, more than half of Sri Lankans (66 percent) realised a decline in their well-being, claiming they feel their health is not as good as it was 5 years ago. Shah Rouf, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Sri Lanka said, “Clearly there is a glaring gap, between what we know we should be doing and what we are in fact doing to be healthy. As the real life company who cares about your well-being, AIA urges you to do something about this. It’s time to close this gap and adopt habits that will help us live longer, healthier and better lives, so all of us can make the most of out of our lives and be there for those that matter the most to us.”