Posted on Aug 19, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa
New research released today by Max Bupa, a leading India-based private health insurance joint venture between Max India Ltd. and Bupa, has revealed some interesting insights regarding people's differing attitudes and perceptions towards chronic diseases and other medical concerns around the world. Of particular note has been the poor health and general wellbeing reported for their home Indian population, and Max Bupa are now developing programs to address this.
Bupa Health Pulse 2011 is the second annual international survey commissioned by Bupa. Between 22 April and 23 May 2011, the international healthcare group surveyed over 13,000 people from the following twelve countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Quotas were set and data was weighted so as to be nationally representative by gender, age and region across all markets involved.
The principle finding made evident in the Bupa Health Pulse 2011 study is the fact that many of the people surveyed, regardless of what country they are from, are not getting enough regular physical activity, even if they were aware or in fact suffering from long-term medical conditions that exercise could aid or help prevent. Over half of the respondents (55 percent) told Bupa that they did less than two hours of exercise a week, with nearly 1 in 5 (18 percent) admitting to usually doing no physical activity at all. This particularly alarming when you consider that more than a third of all respondents (38 percent) claimed to suffer from heart disease, depression, asthma or another common long-term ailment, all of which require some degree of modest physical rehabilitation to treat and ultimately prevent against.
Among the countries surveyed, respondents from Brazil and Saudi Arabia claimed to do the least exercise, with a third of the people from each country saying they did none at all. China and the United States, meanwhile, were the countries where people committed to the most physical activity, with 58 percent of Chinese and 55 percent of American respondents indicating they did at least two hours of exercise a week. These numbers will all hopefully improve as over 60 percent of those surveyed indicated that they wanted to do more to improve their physical condition.
Bupa's international healthcare survey further disclosed the reasons why people were not getting as much physical activity as they'd liked or hoped. The poll cited work commitments as the chief barrier to exercise, with nearly half (48 percent) of worldwide respondents reporting it as their greatest issue, followed then by a general lack of motivation (18 percent), lack of time to work out (15 percent) and cost concerns (17 percent). These obstacles varied sharply depending on the location of the respondent. Among the developed market countries, such as Australia, the UK and the US, lack of motivation was consistently regarded as the main obstacle to doing more physical activity. In the fast emerging economies like Brazil, China, India and Thailand, time and price were the more prevalent obstructions to exercise. When asked what it would take to get people to exercise more, nearly two thirds of all those polled thought that training with friends or as part of a group could help regulate and improve their health and wellbeing habits. Over 70 percent also thought that improved self reliance in setting specific goals and biometric targets could improve their motivation.
When dissecting the results along gender lines, the study found some interesting contradictions in attitudes towards health. Bupa Health Pulse 2011 showed that while men worldwide are more likely to feel overweight in comparison to women (27 to 23 percent response), women are more eager to shed the pounds, with 52 percent wanting to lose weight versus 45 percent of men. Male respondents were also twice as likely are females to feel personally unhealthy (68 to 32 percent affirm). Women reinforced this data by indicating a greater concern about their partner's health over their own and were more awareness of mental health issues.
Max Bupa has focused on the data released specifically about the Indian market, where the country's most productive age group looks to face the most pronounced losses due to health problems. According to Bupa's international survey, around 40 percent of Indians surveyed were classified as unhealthy, while one out of every 10 was technically obese. More than half of the Indians surveyed (57 percent) did less than two hours of exercise a week last year. Of these respondents, it is believed the 25-34 age group will lose the more productivity due to medical illness in the coming years. Diabetes and heart disease have remained the key health concerns among Indian respondents.
The rapid development of the Indian economy has lead many of the people coming up in the country to neglect their health and wellbeing due to the strenuous hustle of daily life. More than half of Indians polled by Bupa (61 percent) thought that their work commitments were preventing them from exercising more and making healthier lifestyle choices. The report further highlighted that 55 percent of Indians had been for a medical check-up to assess the risk of developing a chronic disease, while 25 percent of Indians had not been for any health checks, below the 31 percent international average of people not seeking medical consultation to assess health risks.
Max Bupa is using these concerning health statistics as a platform to launch its 'Health Promise' program. Health Promise was launched this week as the company's first bold attempt to promote greater health and wellbeing awareness in India. Through its new website, www.YourHealthFirst.in, Max Bupa will provide necessary lifestyle and fitness advice to encourage policyholders to make a promise to improve their health for both themselves and their beneficiaries.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Shefali Chhachhi, Marketing Director for Max Bupa explained that the insurer was committed to improving the lifestyle of their clients as well as promoting the idea of living healthy to the Indian populace at large. "Max Bupa wants to help people put their health first and be their health partners for life helping them live healthier and more successful lives. Through this initiative we want people to take the first step towards being healthy by stating their health concern for their loved ones and we will help them in addressing these concerns, by providing them expert advice and access to quality healthcare."
Insurance Companies Mentioned
Max Bupa Health Insurance is a 74:26 joint venture between Max India Limited and UK-based Bupa. Bupa is a leading private healthcare provider with more than 10 million customers worldwide and over 60 years experience in the health sector. The Max India Group has expertise in both health and insurance related services including hospitals, clinical research and life insurance.
Bupa is a leading international healthcare provider, offering personal and corporate health insurance, workplace health services and health assessments. The insurer today has ten million customers in over 190 countries, and over 52,000 employees around the world.As a provident association Bupa has no shareholders, because of this it uses its profits to invest in healthcare and medical facilities around the world. Bupa has operations around the world, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and the US, as well as Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, China and across Latin America.