AIA Group Limited has released findings from a research initiative, "Healthier Together", revealing eight key ingredients that enable people to live "Healthier, Longer, Better Lives" - the same behaviours and actions that help combat the stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These findings were validated through a survey of 6,000 consumers, representing a cross-section of cultures in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, which not only identified tangible actions people can take to improve their health and wellness, but significantly, validated the hypothesis that people already taking these actions are at less risk of being negatively impacted by the uncertainties of COVID-19 and a post-COVID world.
Stuart A. Spencer, AIA Group Chief Marketing Officer, said: "The AIA purpose, which underpins everything we do, is to help people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. It's therefore critical to gain a deep understanding of what people can actually do to achieve this, and how we can help them, beyond the obvious steps of exercising, eating healthily and getting sufficient sleep, particularly in the context of COVID-19."
A significant body of new insights and data was gathered from interviews with 80-plus Asia Pacific-based academics, life-coaches, psychologists, mental health experts, influential authors, healthcare representatives and influencers from leading institutions, business and government.
The study identified eight specific behaviours that are most influential in helping people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. These were:
1. Have an optimistic outlook: Look for the positive things in everyday situations, not letting negative events of the past affect the present and finding enjoyment in work.
2. Be active and engaged: Be an active member of your wider community, remain socially active with friends and family, and remain physically and mentally active.
3. Self-motivate: Focus on your own personal goals, look for ways to make work/tasks/chores more engaging, and see setbacks as learning opportunities.
4.Understand yourself and your emotions: Understand what motivates you in life, understand what is important to you in life, and understand your limits/strengths/weaknesses.
5. Feel a sense of independence: Feel confident identifying what is right for you, focus time and energy on things you can control, and be capable of improving your mental health.
6. Maintain quality relationships: Focus on giving people your full attention, be open and honest with others, and seek out like-minded people who share similar interests.
7. Never stop learning or exploring: Explore new ideas and engage with new things, challenge your own thinking, and be open to change.
8. Make time to recharge: Create clear boundaries between work and personal time and find ways to recharge your energy levels.
The survey asked the 6,000 participants to rate their performance across these criteria.
Key findings included:
An alarming 85% of those surveyed rated themselves as not sufficiently adopting all eight ingredients, leaving just 15% who believed they are. This group of "high performers" in living Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, reported that COVID-19 had less of a negative impact on their health and wellness efforts than the remaining 85%.
"Be active and engaged" was also seen as important and yet, in three of the six markets, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, this was the ingredient which required most improvement.
When comparing the markets in terms of how well they are performing in living Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, Thailand topped the rankings with 35% rating themselves as adopting almost all of the eight identified behaviours and 61% saying they were achieving four or more. The corresponding scores in Mainland China were 32% and 58%, Malaysia at 29% and 54%, and Singapore at 16% and 40%.
"This is really exciting because the findings of this unique piece of research now deliver to us a clear pathway to living Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. Healthier Together identifies real actions people can take to improve their physical and mental well-being, and real clarity about how to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, which has never been more important to us all than it is right now," Mr Spencer added.
The study was conducted by global data insights company Kantar Group and involved in-depth interviews with more than 80 experts from a broad spectrum of professional disciplines across the Asia-Pacific region.
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