New Medibank research on why ‘self-care’ can be better for the whole family
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Released today, a new survey of close to 1,800 people - including adults and children aged 10 to 17 -reveals the vast majority (77%) of Aussie parents prioritise their family’s health ahead of their own.
According to the Medibank data, Australian parents are likely to tick all the right boxes when it comes to the health of their children, but sometimes this comes at the expense of their own wellbeing. For example:
● 76% of parents ensure their children eat breakfast every day, but only 1 in 2 (55%) do so themselves.
● 76% of parents make sure their children are active every day, but only 16% achieve this themselves.
● 29% of parents encourage their children to share how they’re feeling, however only 12% of parents do so themselves.
● 74% of parents believe they could personally be healthier overall, yet only 57% feel this way about their children.
Medibank Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said:
Let’s face it, it’s not easy getting it right all the time but we know parents carry a significant influence in a child’s life, and kids are likely to go on to develop habits that reflect those of their parents. While as parents, it may feel natural to prioritise your family’s health, this data shows it’s important not to let your own health take a back seat.
Sweet tooth: the number one ‘hand-me-down habit’
While these stats show that parents are mostly focused on the health of their children, the data shows their own behaviours are still rubbing off - with 78% admitting their children have picked up their habits, both good and bad. According to kids, it’s their ‘sweet tooth’ that has come out on top as the number one habit inherited from their parents (32%), followed by excess screen time (29%).
On the up side, the third highest ranking habit is a shared love for keeping active (24%). Additionally, 48% of children say they’ve learned the value of ‘me time’ from mum and dad, highlighting the importance parents place on maintaining a healthy mindset.
Children want parents to have more ‘me time’
Nearly one in two (45%) children agree that their parents should have some more 'me time’ as the data shows that only 17% of parents practise self-care each day, with half (53%) saying they feel guilty for doing so. Despite this, 73% of parents admit that when they do practise self-care, they’re a better person to those around them.
Importance of ‘self-care’ goes beyond families
The data shows that those without children also struggle to find ‘me time’, with one in two (50%) saying they don’t practise self-care enough. As for why adults are finding it hard to dedicate time for themselves, 39% claim they just can’t find the time. Interestingly, nearly all agree that even the smallest, healthy actions can make a world of difference to how they feel (84%) and act towards others (73%).
“It can be hard to find time for ourselves, in amongst family, work and social commitments. With these findings, we hope to demonstrate to all Australians that dedicating time to focus on your health - whether it’s for five minutes or five hours - can have a positive knock-on effect on those around us,” said Dr Swan.
For tips and tools to help you eat, move and feel better, Medibank has created Live Better to support the health and wellbeing of all Australians. Live Better includes an online health hub, Medibank supported free, active and social activities and the new Live Better rewards app. With Live Better rewards, eligible Medibank members with hospital or extras cover can track their healthy actions and earn rewards for looking after their health. Find out more at www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/rewards.
Live Better terms and conditions
Must be 18 years or over and have a valid Australian residential address to register for Medibank Live Better. Must be a Medibank member with hospital cover, extras cover, or hospital and extras cover, be up to date with premium payments and have signed up to Medibank Live Better with ‘My Medibank’ or have linked their MyMedibank account with their Live Better account to redeem rewards. Excludes Overseas Visitor health cover, Working Visa health cover, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), Ambulance only cover, ahm covers and other selected covers. Additional terms and conditions may apply to the redemption of a reward depending on the type of reward chosen. See full Medibank Live Better terms here.