New Zealand is often a poster child for a healthy lifestyle; stunning beaches, an active population, world-leading athletes and a nation famed for its ‘green’ lifestyle. However a recent global study reveals this image is misleading and we may need a good old-fashioned kick in the pants when it comes to living a balanced and healthy life.
Results from the annual Cigna 360° Wellbeing Score show that when it comes to physical health and wellbeing, more than 60 percent of Kiwi respondents are overweight or obese. That’s the highest number out of all countries surveyed, including the UK. Just 31 percent of Kiwis were happy with their weight.
The annual survey monitors overall wellbeing across 11 countries and includes more than 15,000 people. It assesses a population’s health and wellbeing across five key areas: physical, social, family, financial and work.
Ninety percent of Kiwis surveyed said spending time with family was very important, with family holidays our favourite way of getting in some quality time. Relationships with children were the most important of all.
Cigna NZ CEO Lance Walker said the company wasn’t surprised by the results.
“It’s great that for the second year, we’re the only country surveyed that puts family first – spending time with our families is a key aspect of our Kiwi culture.
“What isn’t so good are our misconceptions around obesity, and the number of us who aren’t eating a balanced diet.
“If Kiwis want to keep on spending time with their families and enjoying a great quality of life, we need to spend more time thinking about our physical health.”
To help Kiwis achieve healthier lifestyles, Cigna undertakes a range of wellbeing initiatives including sponsorship of Cigna Round the Bays, and a partnership with popular wellbeing columnist and director of the Inspired Health website, Rachel Grunwell.
Rachel shares tips and provides inspiration on nutrition, health and general wellbeing.
“It’s concerning almost 30 percent of us have sugary drinks in our fridge, it may seem a small number but it’s telling us that almost a third of Kiwis regularly drink fizzy drinks, which are laden with sugar and have no nutritional value,” says Rachel.
“Healthy, nourishing food doesn’t have to be expensive and hard to make, or even taste bland. Creating healthy, real meals and snacks will make you feel good. Preparing food with your kids as a great way to combine family time while teaching important life-long lessons about nutrition.”