Macau scores 70 points out of a possible 100 in AIA's 2016 Healthy Living Index, ranking second while its neighbour Hong Kong slips to 15th place.
Macau performs slightly better than Hong Kong on all counts, especially on healthy food habits, but challenges remain and there is room for improvement
AIA Healthy Living Index is a composite measure taking into account individual's satisfaction with their own health as well as their various health-related behaviours. In the third wave of AIA's landmark survey, over 10,000 adults were interviewed across 15 markets in Asia Pacific.
Adults in both markets are not really satisfied with their health
Macau adults gave themselves a 6.7 out of 10 satisfaction rating, a little ahead of Hong Kong at 6.4, but in an absolute sense, a mediocre score. Further, 53% feel their health is not as good as it was five years ago. Adults in both markets recognise that healthy living is multi-faceted, including both physical and emotional elements. The emotional elements are important and take the forefront in Macau with “having good family relationships” (61%) and “having a happy frame of mind” (60%) rated the top two most important drivers of health and “taking holiday” (51%) also in the top 5. Physical aspects such as getting sufficient sleep (57%), exercising regularly (51%) are also in the top 5 most important drivers of healthy living. When rating their own performance on these drivers, the gaps are highest for sleep and exercise. Maintaining a happy frame of mind is also seen as a challenge by adults in Macau.
Macau adults among the more sleep deprived in the region, not far behind Hong Kong
Getting sufficient sleep is the third most important driver of health, according to adults in Macau. While they would ideally like to get 8 hours of sleep a night, in reality they only sleep 6.7 hours on average, leaving a sleep deficit of 1.3 hours which is only marginally better than the 1.5 hours sleep deficit in Hong Kong.
Better eating habits lead to greater satisfaction with weight for Macau residents
When it comes to exercise, 69% of adults in Macau and in Hong Kong say they exercise regularly and in terms of the time spent exercising, Macau is only slightly ahead at 2.9 hours a week vs. 2.7 hours in Hong Kong.
However, on healthy food habits, Macau adults do substantially better than their counterparts in Hong Kong. Attempts to eat healthier in Hong Kong are very much limited to the basics of trying to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables. In sharp contrast, more than half the adult population of Macau try to implement a variety of healthy eating habits - consume less sugar, salt, processed foods, unhealthy snacks, red meat, use less saturated oils as well as trying to eat less at each meal and reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Consequently, only 28% of adults in Macau are pre-obese or obese based on their Body Mass Index compared to 43% in Hong Kong. And while 67% of adults in Hong Kong would like to lose weight, the corresponding percentage for Macau is 46%.
Internet addiction a modern day threat to healthy living to watch out for
Adults in Macau are more measured in their use of the internet. On average, adults in Macau spend 2.1 hours a day on the internet for non-work purposes, compared to the 3.7 hours in Hong Kong. Yet, about a third (31%) of adults in Macau admit to being addicted to social networking and being online. More than double that percentage (64%) in Hong Kong admit to the same. With connectivity and device ownership continuing to increase, internet addiction will likely increase.
Macau adults more regular in getting medical check-up
While stress levels in Macau are lower (self-rating of 5.4 out of 10) than in Hong Kong (6.7) health concerns are only marginally lower – with heart disease (70%), cancer (68%) and having a stroke (67%) topping the list in Macau. A significant number of Macau adults admit to having concerns about mental well-being - Alzheimer's/senility (64%), depression (58%) and anxiety (44%).
With similar levels of concerns, 58% of adults in Macau had a medical check in the past 12 months, much better than the 29% in Hong Kong.
Macau adults keen to further improve their healthy behaviours, but welcome help to do more
Despite a good performance, Macau adults say they can definitely do more to improve their health (78%) and 78% say that they have taken some steps in that direction.
What would motivate them and reinforce healthy behaviours? Seeing tangible results – feeling better physically (78%) and mentally (71%) and looking better (71%) -- would encourage them to do more. They also say that helping them change one step at a time (66%) by setting smaller, more achievable goals (61%), providing updates on progress (68%) and rewards for achieving goals (55%) are all important motivators.
There is cause to be concerned about the health of the next generation in Macau
Though adults in Macau perform better than those in HK on all key aspects of healthy living, the situation with the younger generation is worrying. The percentage of Macau parents say their children don't get enough exercise (77%) or sleep (79%) is marginally higher than among HK parents Too much homework is seen as the main culprit, along with too much time spent playing video games or online. Schools and parents should be mindful of the amount of homework and should also ensure their children have sufficient exercise. Parents, for their part, need to help their children manage the amount of time spent on screens.
“The results for Macau are very encouraging” says Chris Ma, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Macau. “And even more encouraging is the fact that adults in Macau are willing to do even more to lead healthier lives. AIA will do its best to encourage Macau adults to take steps to be healthier since doing so will also help their children – the next generation – have healthier habits. “
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AIA Healthy Living Index
Launched in 2011, the AIA Healthy Living Index is a survey conducted to understand how people feel about their health and the extent of their health habits, as well as their concerns and hopes for a healthier way of life. Commissioned by the AIA Group and conducted by TNS, an independent, global research company, each survey involved interviews with over 10,000 adults aged 18 or older (including 605 adults in Hong Kong and 156 adults in Macau ) across 15 markets: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
About AIA Hong Kong and AIA Macau
AIA Hong Kong and AIA Macau are subsidiaries of AIA Group Limited. AIA Group Limited established its operations in Hong Kong in 1931. We have approximately 12,000 financial planners*, as well as an extensive network of brokerage and bancassurance partners who serve more than 1.8 million customers*. Our products range from individual life, group life, accident, medical and health, personal lines insurance to investment-linked products with numerous investment options. We are also dedicated to providing superb product solutions to meet the financial needs of high net worth customers.
* As of February 2016
* As of February 2016
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or the “Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and a representative office in Myanmar and Cambodia.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai almost a century ago. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$168 billion as of 30 November 2015.
AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of more than 29 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).
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