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HK least healthy place in Asia

If we could use one word to sum up life in Hong Kong, many of us are sure to select ‘hectic’. It really feels like there is so little downtime in the city, especially considering that according to Stats Asia, people in the city worked an average of 2,606 hours in 2015, the most out of any other city. This fast lifestyle does have its downsides, and a recent report placed HK people dead last in a healthy living index. Believe it or not, statistics like these ones can have an impact on your health insurance.  

Healthy Living Index puts Hong Kong last

In 2011 AIA set out to create an index for healthy living in Asia and has since published a number of reports and updates to the index, with the third and latest being released in early May 2016. According to AIA, the third release is based on a “survey of over 10,000 adults per wave across 15 markets in Asia Pacific.”

Individual Health Insurance Plans

According to the study, Hong Kong declined two places in the ranking from 13th in 2013 to 15th, and last, in 2016. In order to arrive at this ranking, the index took into account answers and opinions from the 10,000 participants about their health and asked them about their daily activities.

When asked to rank their overall health based on five elements, Hong Kongers gave themselves a satisfaction rank of 6.4 out of 10, with over 70% of adults noting that they were less healthy than five years ago. The five elements participants answered questions about in order to find their overall health include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating healthy
  • Maintaining positive state of mind
  • Effectively managing stress

Beyond the low self-ranking by Hong Kongers, the Index also found a number of interesting things about our health including:

  • The average amount of sleep people get each night is 6.5 hours.
  • 2 out of 3 adults want to lose at least 7kg or more.
  • 43% of people in Hong Kong are obese or pre-obese.
  • People spend an average of 2.7 hours a week exercising, while spending 3.7 hours a day on the Internet.
  • 75% of people believe that their children don’t get enough sleep or exercise.
  • Only 29% of people had a checkup last year.

 

These figures could impact your health insurance premiums

The findings in the Index provide some interesting insight into the potential future of people living in Hong Kong, especially because the city has actually slid in rankings when compared to previous reports. Essentially, the report is saying that the majority of us don’t live healthy lifestyles, or believe we could be doing more to be healthy.

What is interesting however is the impact that unhealthy lifestyles can have on the health insurance premiums we pay. At a high-level, if more people are unhealthy there will be more demand for medical care, especially as it is well documented that unhealthy lifestyles lead to diseases that will require ongoing, costly care. This higher demand will contribute to a growing cost of care which means health insurance will play a bigger role in mitigating costs. In order to offset the higher costs of care, health insurance companies will have higher premiums, or may limit coverage for ongoing conditions which means you will be paying more out of pocket.

One thing that raised a few eyebrows in the office wasn’t the stats behind adults and their health, but what parents think of the health of their children. Nearly 75% of the respondents believed that their children did not get enough sleep. While the effects of sleep deprivation among children are largely inconclusive, many experts believe that it can have an impact on thinking and mood. Over time, if sleep deprivation continues you could see higher levels of stress which could lead to higher visits to the doctor and other health issues.

Many of the respondents believed their kids didn’t exercise enough. It is widely known that lack of exercise combined with a poor diet can impact bodyweight, and if not mitigated could lead to obesity. This essentially is a double whammy when it comes to health, and could lead to a potentially exponential increase of medical issues in the future. If this does happen, you will see higher medical costs and premiums, something we would all preferably avoid.

Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to mitigate the cost of health insurance premiums. Contact the experts at Pacific Prime Hong Kong today to learn more about how the best medical insurance plans can help. 

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Jess Lindeman

Content Strategist at Pacific Prime Hong Kong
Jessica Lindeman is a Content Strategist at Pacific Prime. She comes to work every day living and breathing the motto of "simplifying insurance", and injects her unbridled enthusiasm for health and insurance related topics into every article and piece of content she creates for Pacific Prime.

When she's not typing away on her keyboard, she's reading poetry, fueling her insatiable wanderlust, getting her coffee fix, and perpetually browsing animal Instagram accounts.
Jess Lindeman