Sun Life Reveals Results of its Asia Health Index 2015



Many of us say that we are very conscious about our health but, did you know, only 3 in 5 Filipinos (or 59%) still do not exercise regularly? According to Mylene Lopa, Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer, the Sun Life Asia Health Index 2015 report revealed that despite being the most optimistic in Asian region, Filipinos are also the most worried over largely preventable conditions such as heart disease (60% vs. 41% regionally) and diabetes (40% vs. 31% regionally).

getting fit is a choice; you have to FIND TIME to do it!
From over 4,000 people surveyed, aged between 25 and 60 years old across China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, the study showed that 97% of the 700 respondents in the Philippines rank their personal health as an important aspect of their lives. Nevertheless, 46% fall into 'unhealthy segments' who are least satisfied across all life aspects, including stress management, level of exercise and energy, quality of sleep, and level of happiness.

you think of yourself as healthy but are you, really? 
Through the latest research, three segments were found to represent 'unhealthy' people while the other three are those who are -- in different ways -- 'healthy.' Each segment is characterized by distinct perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors that either hamper or encourage healthy living. In which health segment do you belong to?

in what health segment do you fit in?
  • Health Blessed (16%) are those who think they can stay healthy without needing to make any effort and feel they have extremely good overall health. They are more likely to be women with children who are satisfied with all aspects of life especially on family relationships, colleagues relationships, and level of happiness. For them, the important targets for life are saving for family, retirement, day-to-day finances, owning a property, etc.
  • Health Starters (15%) perceive themselves to be in good health, acknowledge that effort is needed to maintain it, and regularly engage in one health-directed action such as exercising, meditating, or eating healthily. They are more equally likely to be male or female, with men more likely to focus solely on exercise and women only on diet. They are highly concerned about food ingredients and in maintaining healthy habits.
  • Wellness Wonders (23%) are those who think they need to make an effort to be healthy and do multiple things (exercises, diet, relaxation, meditation) to keep themselves so. They are more likely to prefer being slim and to exercise rather than eat whatever they can or rest on the couch. They are the most likely of all segments to be satisfied with different aspects of life including their sleep, health, and relationships.
  • Distracted (13%) feel unhealthy but think that personal health is important. Their barriers to being healthy are lack of motivation or being easily distracted. They are more likely to be single females who eat whatever they want than desire to stay slim, and would rather rest on the couch rather than exercise. They are the least satisfied among segments with their relationships, level of happiness, and levels of energy.
  • Generation O (30%) are the unhealthy and overworked. They think personal health is extremely important but say they lack time due to work, family, health facilities, or budget. Their main goals for wellness are to be happy and avoid illness.  
  • Hedonists (3%) see themselves as unhealthy, think personal health is not that important, but think they enjoy life more than others. They are more likely to live in Manila, enjoying moments with less concern about food ingredients and will participate in 'unhealthy' activities. If forced to make a choice, they would prefer being attractive than being healthy. For them, the main target of wellness is being happy.
Riza Mantaring, President and CEO of Sun Life Financial Philippines, acknowledged that there is a "disconnect between the awareness that better lifestyle choices translate to improved personal health, and the action taken as a result of those choices."

what's your level of satisfaction in terms of these health aspects?
Many of those surveyed (97%) say they know how they can improve their health further, 93% say they do everything they can to maximize their health, and 96% say they support and encourage their family to live a healthy lifestyle. Yet, being overweight or obese plus respiratory conditions are among the top three health issues they have personally experienced. With diabetes and heart disease topping health issues experienced by family members, these provide evidence that there is a big gap between awareness and action.

if you suddenly have a health emergency tomorrow,
how easy (or hard) would it be for you to find the money you need for
the medical expenses? Read my other blog post about being #FIT2LiveFree here
Filipinos also rank highest in Asia for having a family history of chronic health issues. Thus, Sun Life encourages those in the Wellness Wonders and Health Starters categories to become more visible advocates of healthy living to those in the unhealthy segments while the Distracted are recommended to set realistic, measurable goals in at least one type of health behavior (exercise or healthy eating) as their first step towards healthy living.

Sun Life can help you protect both health and wealth
Sun Life is equally committed to creating healthy opportunities for everyone. Mantaring invites people to join their upcoming SunPiology Run, which is one activity that exemplifies their vision of self-care and health-directed behavior as a new norm.

Start your wellness journey, now!
Personally, I believe that we cannot be healthy if we don't put in any effort towards wellness. If we want to live longer for the sake of our loved ones, especially our children who will need us for a long time, we have to consciously take steps to be healthy!  I hope this post becomes an eye-opener for you, dear readers. Don't pursue personal health when it is already too late!


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