Health Insights

Research reveals 2017 is the year of the supermum

We take a look at the health and lifestyle habits of Aussie mums in 2017.

Written by Rebecca Grant
Have mums today mastered the balancing act?

Data in the Medibank Better Health Index (MBHI) reveals that 2017 is the year of the super-mum.

Over the last 10 years, despite Aussie mums having more and more on their plates -- the data shows they’re multi-tasking masters with their health steadily improving each year.

Mums mastering the balancing act

Juggling kids, a career and their wellbeing, the data shows that despite being busier than ever – mums today have mastered the balancing act.

In the latest Medibank Better Health Index, 66% of mums with kids under 15 were in the workforce, a steady increase from 61% back in 2007-08.

Mums today also appear to be fitting more and more into their jam-packed schedule. In 2007-08, 74% of mums agreed ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day” – but in the latest report this this number had dropped to 67%. This was reflected in Aussie mums’ exercise habits, with the data revealing mums are exercising more than they were in 2007-08, and are more or as likely as the general population to regularly engage in various sports, including – swimming, walking, the gym and jogging.

Aussie mums less likely than general population to be overweight or obese

While we may be getting fatter as a nation, it appears Aussie mums are less likely than general population to be overweight or obese. The data in the MBHI shows 58% of mums are overweight or obese compared to 63% of the general population at 63%.

This could be down to a healthier diet – with the research indicating Aussie mums’ nutrition has steadily improved since 2007-08. When it comes to junk food and alcohol, the MBHI shows:

  • Fast food: 64% of mums have visited a fast food outlet in the last 4 weeks (vs 70% in 2007-08)
  • Chocolate: 58% of mums have eaten chocolate in the last 4 weeks (vs 63% in 2007-08). However they’re still more likely to consume chocolate than the general population, at 51%
  • Alcohol: 49% of mums have consumed alcohol in the last 7 days (vs 55% in 2007-08). Mums are also drinking far less than the general population (3.3 drinks per week, vs general pop at 6.25).

But stress is taking its toll

While Aussie mums’ overall health has improved over time, the data did reveal that being a mum can sometimes take its toll.

Aussie mums are far more stressed than the general population, with the latest Index showing 32% suffer from stress (vs 25% of general pop). Additionally Aussie mums are more likely to suffer from:

  • Colds (62%, compared with the general pop at 50%)
  • Back pain (44%, compared with the general pop at 41%)
  • Frequent headaches (12%, compared with the general pop, at 7%)

Interestingly, despite popular believe that newborns might be the most stressful, the latest MBHI shows that mothers of kids aged 12-15 are most likely to suffer from stress.

Help for new mums

For new mums, and anyone expecting a baby, Better Families provides a wealth of pregnancy and parenthood information. From exercise tips for mums-to-be, understanding postnatal depression, or choosing the right health cover, visit Better Families.

Written by Rebecca Grant

Rebecca Grant is a Melbourne-based content producer and writer with an interest in health. She has over 10 years’ experience working in the communications and media world.

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