Healthy behaviours: an Australian report card
Many Australians are committed to small everyday healthy behaviours, but there is more we can do to achieve better health, new Medibank research shows.
The latest Medibank Health Check takes a look at the health aspirations, expectations and behaviours of a representative sample of Australians. When it looked at healthy behaviours, it found that many of us are making some healthy everyday decisions, like trying to eat a balanced diet and finding some time to exercise, at least most of the time.
This is an excellent start and shows that many of us are on the way to making good health a real priority. However, the results do show plenty of room for improvement – and there is definite cause for concern that not enough Australians are eating nutritious food every day, exercising regularly, and finding ways to reduce stress and improve their mental wellbeing.
We pulled together some of findings, and some resources from be. magazine that might help inspire and empower you make positive changes for your health…
Note: Percentages below refer to respondents who said they ‘always’ or ‘often’ do these healthy behaviours. For more details see the full Medibank Health Check: Health aspirations report.
77% of Australians have an alcohol free day
A small drop of red wine might have some health benefits and the occasional after-work beer is understandable, but the truth is most of us drink more alcohol than is good for us. Taking a break and reducing the amount of alcohol you put in your system can be great way to show kindness to your body. The following articles may help give you a bit of inspiration:
77% of Australians have a smoke free day
Healthier lungs, heart, eyes, stomach, skin, muscles, blood… there are so many reasons not to smoke, so it’s great news that most Australians are either saying no to cigarettes completely or making the decision to take at least a temporary break from the damaging toxins. Even better than a smoke free day is a smoke free week, month, year… or best of all, the rest of your life. Quitting is hard, but there are resources available to help support you. Here are a few more things that might help convince you:
62% of Australians fully follow the advice of their doctors
It’s natural to turn to the convenience of Dr Google – or increasingly, Dr Facebook – when we have concerns about our health. While online information can definitely be helpful and empowering (when it comes from professional, reliable and trustworthy sources), it’s great that a large number of Australians are still trusting their doctor’s advice first and foremost. Here are a few things to think about when weighing up sources of health advice:
59% of Australians exercise once a week
Staying active and fit is vital for good overall health. Exercising once a week is a fantastic start – though the current Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend being active on most, if not all, days every week. Still, doing any physical activity is definitely better than doing none, so if you’re not in the habit, start by doing a small amount and gradually build up to the recommended amount. Here are some ways you can increase your activity levels:
53% of Australians eat a balanced diet every day
Eating well every day is a matter of knowing what makes a balanced diet, having the motivation to commit to good nutrition, and a little bit of planning. Here are some tips for making health food choices:
51% of Australians find ways to maintain a good work/life balance
In so many areas of life, balance is the key to wellbeing. Working hard to support your family and to gain personal fulfilment can be an important part of your life – just make sure you find the time to balance it out with personal care as well. Here are some ways to achieve better balance:
48% of Australians find ways to reduce stress
Stress is such a common ailment, and one that can have a very real impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. There is cause for concern that, as the Medibank Health Check survey suggests, the majority of us are not making stress-reduction a priority in our lives. Here are some starting points to help improve your wellbeing:
43% of Australians get a full night’s sleep
Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health, giving our bodies a chance to rest and restore themselves. Unfortunately, most of us struggle to get enough of it, as the results of the Medibank Health Check clearly show. Here are some tips for a good night’s rest, every night:
43% of Australians exercise more than three times a week
Once you’re in the routine of doing a bit of exercise, it’s time to step it up to meet the recommended weekly activity levels. Here are some ways you can push yourself to be more active:
38 % of Australians have a regular health check-up
It’s a cliché but it’s true: prevention is better than cure. Here are some things you should know about getting regular check-ups before problems start: