Premier global nutrition company, Herbalife Nutrition, today released findings from the Asia Pacific Health Inertia Survey 2021, which revealed that six in ten consumers in the region said that their current mental and physical health were less than ideal (‘fair’ or ‘poor’), outnumbering those who felt that they were ‘good’, ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. Compared to a year ago, Asia Pacific consumers were split over whether the state of their health is better or worse.
For those who saw a deterioration in their physical health in the past 12 months, seven in ten (69%) attributed it to the lack of physical activity, followed by eating more unhealthy food (36%) and lack of community support to keep up with exercise regimen (26%). When it comes to mental health deterioration, the key reasons included stress over work uncertainties (54%), staying home more often due to movement restrictions (53%), and the lack of social interactions (42%).
For the respondents who saw an improvement in their physical and mental health compared to 12 months ago, the common contributing factor was more exercise. Other factors included consumption of healthier meals, community support and more personal time and space.
“The pandemic has dampened people’s enthusiasm and energy. However, there is a high awareness of the crucial role that regular exercise, healthy eating and community support play in enabling better overall well-being. This points to an urgent need for us to motivate consumers to take back their health, and move forward with a healthy, active lifestyle supported by good nutrition,” said Stephen Conchie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Herbalife Nutrition Asia Pacific. “With our Virtual Run and Get Moving with Good Nutrition campaign back for the second year running, we are bringing together the key elements of physical activity, better nutrition choices and an uplifting community to help people restart their healthy living journey.”
Conducted in July and August 2021, Herbalife Nutrition’s Asia Pacific Health Inertia Survey 2021 polled 5,496 consumers aged 18 and above in 11 Asia Pacific markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The survey revealed insights into the impact of the pandemic on consumers’ health, as well as their attitudes and behaviors towards improving their well-being.
Many Started Eating Healthier, Exercising More
Despite most Asia Pacific consumers seeing the current state of their health as less than ideal, many have taken the first step out to eat healthier and exercise more as a result of the pandemic.
54% consumers in the region said they started eating healthier, with the trend being most evident in Vietnam (78%), Indonesia (75%) and the Philippines (73%). Among those who said they started to eat less healthily due to the pandemic, the number one factor was the ability to easily access unhealthy snacks.
The survey also revealed that 42% consumers started exercising more because of the pandemic. For those who exercised less during the pandemic, most claimed to exercise 1 to 3 days less per week, citing lack of personal motivation to exercise, lack of space at home to exercise, and the inability to access gyms and fitness centers as the main reasons.
Technology Key in Enabling Healthy Active Behaviors
With the digital wave sweeping across countries in Asia Pacific, technology and social media is also playing a more important role to support healthy active living.
One in two (56%) consumers now use technology tools such as publicly available virtual fitness classes and videos (42%), fitness trackers (39%), fitness and workout apps (34%) and nutrition apps (31%) to support their healthy living regimen.
More consumers also found that social media had a positive influence (33%) on their mental health than a negative influence (19%).
Those who indicated social media as having a positive effect cited the following factors:
- Reading of inspirational/motivational content (60%)
- Viewing of humorous/light-hearted content (58%)
- Inspiration/motivation from social media influencers (50%)
Clear Desire to Kickstart Healthy Active Lifestyles
When asked about their plans to adopt healthy active living habits in the next 12 months, an overwhelming majority (88%) of consumers said that they plan to eat more healthily, while 79% plan to exercise more.
Among the steps that they would take to eat more healthily include:
- Drink more water (70%)
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my meals (61%)
- Reduce my consumption of sugar and sweets (61%)
Key actions that they would take to exercise more include:
- Create a specific routine that incorporates regular exercise (64%)
- Influence family and friends to exercise together physically or virtually (38%)
- Purchase exercise equipment to work out at home (35%)
Herbalife Nutrition Virtual Run 2021 Spurs Momentum for Healthy Active Living
Herbalife Nutrition’s annual Virtual Run will make its return from October 1 to October 31. Organized as part of the Company’s Get Moving with Good Nutrition campaign, which aims to spark widespread action towards living a healthier life, the run will take place in 11 markets including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Herbalife Nutrition’s Virtual Run 2020 saw more than 14,000 participants clocking close to 600,000 kilometers across Asia Pacific. This year, the Virtual Run has set bigger and bolder goals, supported by a wider range of engagement platforms and digital content to equip Asia Pacific consumers with healthy living tips and tools, as well as to help them foster a supportive community on their running journey.