AIA finds health trend after claims rise
AIA Australia has released the results of its 2016 Healthy Living Index Survey, which are intended to help the insurer better understand health patterns after seeing claims numbers increase.
In a statement, AIA Australia said the study found that Australians are being distracted by digital devices, which is affecting their health.
More than half (52 per cent) of adults surveyed said social networking and spending time online is becoming addictive for them, a 7 per cent increase since 2013.
This has led to little exercise and unhealthy eating habits for many Australians, the statement said. About 85 per cent of respondents said they often eat while distracted and 55 per cent said that spending too much time online prevents them from exercising enough.
AIA Australia chief executive Damien Mu said: "At AIA Australia, we see the effects of poor health first hand, with increasing numbers of claims made because of chronic diseases that affect a person's ability to work, causing financial strain and impacting on their quality of life."
"By conducting this research, we get a better understanding of how we can support and incentivise Australians to achieve their lifestyle goals through programs like AIA Vitality, which rewards people for healthy behaviour.
"We are committed to empowering people to live longer and healthier lives by investing in health and wellbeing solutions that are adaptable for a range of lifestyles and life stages," Mr Mu said.
He added that while this survey shows technology can be a threat, it can also be an opportunity.
"While those surveyed reported that spending excessive time online is affecting their health, 56 per cent also said that they rely on the internet for information and advice on healthy foods," he said.
"Forty-six per cent of us are also using the internet or mobile phones to keep track of physical activity and to stay motivated to exercise."
The survey also found that several health conditions are high on the list of worries.
Cancer was found to be the biggest concern for Australians (67 per cent), followed by heart disease (65 per cent), depression (65 per cent) and being overweight/obese (63 per cent). Two in three Australian adults (68 per cent) would like to lose weight and, on average, would like to lose a total of 8.3 kilograms.
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