AIA Healthy Living Index measures consumers’ satisfaction with their health and various behaviors. It surveyed a total of 10,316 adults across 15 markets in Asia Pacific, including Malaysia.
The 2016 survey also showed that the 751 Malaysian adults who participated in the survey scored lower (68 points) than the regional average of 73 points when asked if they were satisfied with their health status.
Malaysia scored a mediocre 63 points out of 100 in the 2016 Healthy Living Index, ranking No.8 among the 15 markets. While many other markets have shown improvements, Malaysia's score has not been improving.
Close to 70% feel their health has worsened over the last 5 years.
For the first time, the survey also uncovered obesity as a growing challenge for both adults and children. 61% want to lose a substantial 8.5 kgs but they are doing enough to reach their goals.
Malaysians desire to do more and welcome guidance and motivation sustain healthy behaviours.
Those surveyed recognized that healthy living involved a combination of physical and mental elements. These included getting sufficient sleep and having a healthy diet, as well as maintaining a positive mindset and knowing how to reduce stress. Unfortunately, exercise did not even feature as one of the top drivers of healthy living among Malaysian adults.
key drivers of healthy living to Malaysian adults
Getting sufficient sleep.
Maintaining a positive mindset.
Knowing how to reduce stress.
1) Malaysian adults are largely dissatisfied with their health
Close to 70% of Malaysian adults feel their health is not as good as it was 5 years ago.
Even more worrying is that 61% of adults under age 30 agree with this sentiment.
2) Health concerns rank high, but the majority don’t know the true state of their health.
The majority of those surveyed said diseases related to the heart, diabetes, cancer and stroke are among their top health concerns. Many were also worried about their mental well-being: 76% were concerned about anxiety. Despite those concerns, only 46% of Malaysian adults had a medical check-up done in the last 12 months.
Top Health Concerns
3) The verdict on diet and nutrition: Bad eating habits are leading to weightier issues, even among children.
Attemps to eat healthier are still restricted to the basics:
Driking more water
Eating more fruits and vegetables
Pre-conception on healthy food:
Not taste very good
Harder to prepare
Obesity has surfaced as one of the outcomes of poor eating habits:
of Malaysian adults interviewed are either pre-obese or obese, based on their Body Mass Index readings.
want to lose an average of 8.5 kgs, placing Malaysia among the top three countries with the highest weight-loss targets.
4) The scoop on exercise: Malaysians exercise regularly but they spend much more time on their screens!
69% of Malaysian adults say they exercise regularly. But on average they are only doing 2.5 hours a week. That's less than 30 minutes a day!
Screen time is steadily becoming a big threat to healthy living:
Malaysians adults spend an average of 4.1 hours a day on the internet for non-work purposes, way above the original average of 3 hours.
71% find it hard to break the habit of spending too much time in front of screens.
68% claim they are being addicted to online activities.
This screen time addiction trend will continue to be fuelled by children growing up with the Internet and social media as integral aspects of their lives. Currently, 50% of Malaysian parents claimed that their children had too much screen time – TV (44%), time spent online (31%) and playing video games (26%).
It’s perhaps not surprising then that Malaysian adults are not having enough sleep!
5) Malaysian adults are sleep deprived
Average hours of sleep Malaysians wish to get.
Average hours of sleep Malaysians enjoy every night.
Whilst most people intend to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night, in reality most Malaysians sleep average only 6.3 hours - the lowest among the 15 countries surveyed, which would then affect their performance during the next day.
6) Malaysians desire to do more and they welcome guidance and motivation to sustain healthy behaviors
of Malaysian adults say that they desire to do more, and they welcome guidance and motivation to sustain healthy behaviours.
said they have taken some small steps in that direction
What motivates Malaysians? Seeing tangible reults!
Malaysians welcome help!
Overall, the health status of Malaysians shows much scope for improvement and we can clearly see that there is a strong desire to improve their health. It’s encouraging that many want more motivation and guidance on how to set their goals and stay healthy.
At AIA, we encourage Malaysians to start making healthier lifestyle choices. We want to play an active role in empowering and incentivising Malaysians to make sustained changes to their lifestyles on a daily basis so that we become a healthier nation. As the saying goes, it is health that is real wealth!