How do we really feel about our health?

How do we really feel about our health?

As Australians, we pride ourselves on being a reasonably healthy lot. Were active, outdoorsy (not to mention sports mad) and have access to some of the best health care facilities in the world. By all accounts we should be a walking, talking picture of health. Right? Well, that’s what we wanted to know when we commissioned the first Readers Digest/Healthsmart magazine poll. In a detailed questionnaire, we poked and prodded, scanned and scoured, putting the country’s health habits and knowledge under the microscope to see just how well we’re looking after ourselves. The result is a health audit on the nation – a mini check-up, if you will. For the diagnosis, read on.

The starting position

The life expectancy of Australians has risen by more than 20 years during the past century – men can now expect to live to 78 and women to 83. Conditions that plagued our forebears at the turn of the century, such as diarrhoea, septicaemia and tuberculosis, are comparatively rare. Medical advances mean chronic diseases aren’t as debilitating as they were a generation ago. Although obesity and inactivity are shaping up as future risk factors, experts believe our health is still likely to improve because, as a nation, were better educated and have greater access to health services. At least that’s the theory. Let’s put it to the test.

Give it all up

Ten things we say we’d sacrifice for a guarantee of better health:

1. Fast food
2. Cigarettes
3. Alcohol
4. Desserts
5. Chocolate
6. Overseas holidays
7. New clothes or shoes
8. Mobile phones
9. Pasta and bread
10. TV or computer


Courtesy of Healthsmart Magazine