3 in 4 Singaporeans making improvements in their health amid COVID-19

| 09 Sep 2020

AIA Real Rewards Poll 2020

AIA Singapore in August announced findings from the AIA Real Rewards Poll 2020 which revealed that:

-As a result of COVID-19, two-thirds (65%) of Singaporeans realise that they have been taking their health for granted,

-With more than 7 in 10 (72%) defining the true value of good health as living healthier, longer, better lives with their families and loved ones in today’s socially distant world, and

-A whopping 93% prioritised staying healthy over other pursuits to get through the circuit breaker period.

-As a result, a significant three quarters of respondents (75%) recorded an improvement in at least one aspect of their well-being – whether in terms of improved eating habits, physical health, sleeping pattern, or mental health – within 8 weeks from the start of the Circuit Breaker in early April 2020.

The study was conducted amongst 875 participants in mid-June 2020 as Singapore moved into phase two of safe reopening.

“It is encouraging that, in these trying times, Singaporeans have taken steps to make positive changes to their health, and they are already reaping the rewards of these simple actions. Our aim is to support even more Singaporeans to achieve their health goals, building on this momentum to enable them to truly live healthier, longer, better lives.

We know that it is not enough to only take care of our physical health. This is why, as a leading insurer in the health space, we take a holistic approach to protecting our customers’ wellbeing across financial, physical, and mental health,” said Ms Melita Teo, Chief Customer and Digital Officer, AIA Singapore.

The AIA Real Rewards Poll 2020, combined with an analysis of AIA Vitality members’ health, provided three note-worthy insights for Singapore.

#1: Singaporeans are adapting by looking beyond keeping active to stay healthy: A well-rounded approach to health includes eating well and getting adequate sleep.

Singaporeans did not compromise on eating right as they continue to spend approximately S$470 a month personally on healthy food, even as they reduced overall living expenses amid the pandemic. Instead, they got healthier and saved money by cutting down expenses on junk food and alcohol.

-Overall, Singaporeans were placing a high priority on making healthier choices, allocating the highest portion of the living expenses (34%) on healthier meal choices.

Aside from nutrition, Singaporeans are also adapting by paying off their sleep debt. Adults are recommended to get approximately 7 – 9 hours of sleep daily.

-More than 2 in 5 (43%) of Singaporeans have improved their sleeping habits in this period, pointing to reduced commuting time as the key reason why.

-This is also reflected in sleep patterns of AIA Vitality members: There were twice as many qualifying sleeps tracked on the wellness programme – of at least 7 hours daily – during the Circuit Breaker compared to the preceding months.

The need to address sleep deprivation is especially critical in Singapore, which ranks as the third most sleep-deprived city in the world. AIA launched the #OneMoreHour initiative last year, encouraging people to get an additional hour of sleep, with a content hub created to help improve their sleeping habits.

#2: Keeping healthy helps Singaporeans better manage their mental health: More needs to be done to ensure Singapore’s mental well-being

Unsurprisingly, approximately 3 in 5 (60%) of Singaporeans are anxious about the post-coronavirus world.

Keeping healthy has helped many manage their stress and anxiety:

-Approximately 1 in 3 (30%) Singaporeans reported improvements to their mental health during COVID-19 – aided by simple steps such as getting at least seven hours of sleep, eating more nutritious meals, and spending quality time with loved ones.

-Multiple aspects of keeping healthy contribute to improved mental well-being.

However, a similar number of Singaporeans also reported a decline in their mental health due to increased stress and anxiety (30%). This echoes a worrying trend seen elsewhere in Singapore as a result of the pandemic.

The National Care Hotline, set up in April 2020 to provide additional support for people facing mental health challenges, received more than 6,600 calls by the end of the same month with approximately 1,000 people identified as requiring even more targeted support thereafter.

#3: Singapore continues to be the most active in Asia, even amid COVID-19: Nurturing a stronger healthy-living culture a joint responsibility of the public and private sector

Compared to their counterparts across the region, AIA Vitality members in Singapore were the most active group:

-Despite the pandemic, members in Singapore recorded the highest percentage of workouts tracked on the programme between January to May 2020 amongst 12 markets across Asia-Pacific.

-Even before COVID-19, AIA Vitality members in Singapore have consistently been amongst the most active. For members who are active on the programme’s Weekly Fitness Challenge, more than half typically exceed the minimum weekly target.

“The success of our nation’s initiatives to encourage healthy living is evident in the continued high levels of activity amongst Singaporeans despite the Circuit Breaker measures, with many finding creative ways to continue keeping fit while working from home. This is encouraging, and speaks to the immense opportunity we, the private sector, have to continue nurturing a healthy-living culture in Singapore and improving the health of our population,” shared Ms Teo.

To help individuals and families in Singapore embrace new norms of reaching their health goals at home, AIA hosted AIA Live on 2 August 2020, an online event where AIA Global Ambassador David Beckham, award-winning chef Jeremy Pang and celebrities from across Asia Pacific came together to explore how to achieve healthier, longer, better lives together.

A recording of the full AIA Live programme is available at: https://bit.ly/AIALive2020SG

More on AIA:
Inspirational Agency Leader of the Year 2020 - Wong Ching Lih

AIA Named #1 MDRT Company for Sixth Year Running

#EmbracingNewNorms to better serve clients

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