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The first step to better health for Australia

Lifestyle — Posted 29/04/15

Most of us think about making healthy changes at least weekly. So what stops us from taking the leap off the starting blocks?

Taking steps to better health makes you feel good – that’s something we can all agree on. 

When you feel nourished from filling up on clean and wholesome foods, bright and energised from getting out and being active, and calm and centred in your mind, those are all good feelings. And the sense of personal achievement you get from reaching your goals and taking control of your own wellbeing is the best feeling of all.

But we don’t need to convince you of that. Chances are, better health is already on your mind. 84% of Australians say they think about improving their health at least once a week. 42% say they think about it every day.

That’s a lot of thinking. It’s the doing that’s the hard part. 

We asked Australians* how they really feel about taking the first step to better health. What motivates them, what troubles them, and what they think they could do to get started. 

Here’s what we learned... 

There are plenty of reasons to be healthy

89% of Australians say that when you take the first steps to improving your health, you feel good about it. Beyond that, why else would we take the first step?

• Physical fitness and appearance are the top reasons people name.

• Half say they’re motivated by family and friends. 

• And 1 in 4 say it’s milestone events that give them that extra push to make changes.

Better health means different things to different people

• 3 in 4 say it means being more physically active.

• 3 in 4 say it’s about eating well.

• Half say mental wellbeing is important.

• 1 in 5 say access to health services.

• And 1 in 2 say better health equals happiness.

What stops us from taking the first step?

Over half of Australians say it’s too expensive and too hard to take the first step to better health. And 49% say they don’t know where to start. The answer is – start somewhere. Even a small step can give you the momentum you need to keep going.

So, what could you do?

• 70% say the first step to better health is eating more fruit and vegetables.

• 65% say it’s drinking more water.

• 63% say it’s cutting back on the amount they eat. 

• 1 in 4 say getting a friend involved is a good place to start. 

• And half say they need to be better informed about health – mental and physical.

There are a few things that almost all of us agree on

• Taking the first step will have longer term benefits.

• Better health is about more than being healthy –it’s about happiness.

• Being healthy makes it easier to enjoy life with your family and friends.

Do you think it's time to take the first step?

*The results are based on research conducted by ACA Research with a sample of 1,024 Australians aged 25 or older. Fieldwork was conducted between the 1st and 8th of April 2015, with quotas set on age, gender and location based on population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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