SUN Life Financial Asia Health Index reveals Philippines the highest in Asia for lack of exercise

January 24, 2017
The Philippines tops the list of countries in Asia where people don't exercise regularly, according to this year's Sun Life Financial Asia health Index.

The Philippines tied with Thailand and Malaysia on the list, with 61% of the population in each of the three countries not engaging in any regular physical activity. Asked to identify the barriers to living a healthier lifestyle, 57% of Filipinos blamed it on their lack of time due to work, 47% admitted that it is due to "lack of personal motivation," while 47% also identified "distractions of modern life." Other key barriers named were cost (45%) and the lack of accessible venues to engage in sports and recreation (36%).


With the aforementioned findings, it appears that the population dubbed "Generation O" still exists.

Composed of individuals who are overworked, overweight and overwhelmed, "Generation O" is a segment of the population first identified in the 2014 survey of the Sun Life Financial Asia health Index. The latest study finds Generation O continuing to struggle with their health goals.

But there is hope...
The Asia health Index also showed that Filipinos are still very positive about the state of their health. In fact, the Philippines scored the highest of all the markets surveyed on the overall Health Index, garnering a score of 89. Respondents from the Philippines were the most positives ion Asia about their emotional health, wherein they were the most likely in the region to say that their emotional health is "good" or "extremely good," and was second most positive in the region (behind Indonesia) when it comes to their physical health.

"With all the things that demand our time and attention, it's usually our health that suffers because it's relegated to the least of our priorities. However, this should not be the case," Sun Life President and CEO Riza Mantaring said. "This is why we, at Sun Life have been boosting our suite of wellness products and mounting events that would help Filipinos to pursue their health goals."


Sun Life recently launched SUN Fit and Well, a new generation wellness product that offers comprehensive life and health protection from childhood all the way to the golden years. While most products offer benefits only when an illness strikes, SUN Fit and Well covers needs from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment and all the way to rehabilitation.

For prevention, SUN Fit and Well provides access to GoWell, Sun Life's wellness program where members can enjoy special privileges that will help them keep mind and body fit. This includes easy access and wellness information, fitness and wellness events, nutrition and health experts, and more.

"Sun Life remains committed to helping Filipinos face a brighter tomorrow by being in the best of health," mantaring added. "The results of the Asia Health Index reiterate the need to promote a healthier lifestyle, and Sun Life wants to be Filipinos' partner in pursuing this journey."


The Sun Life Financial Asia Health Index is a periodic study of health trends in Asia that was launched in 2014. The research is based on the findings of an Ipsos survey conducted in August 2016. A sample of just 4000 Asians from 25 to 60 years of age and with middle class incomes was interviewed online from Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The survey questioned respondents on their attitudes towards healthy and active living, their health concerns for the future and expectations on access to healthcare.


About SUN LIFE Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United states, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of CAD $208 Billion.

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