In an online survey of health habits around the world, nearly two thirds of respondents included getting enough sleep, eating healthy nutritious food, and exercising as activities they do regularly to maintain their physical health. While these straight-forward activities should come as no surprise, several activities have risen in value from previous years, including “spending time with family, friends or pets”, “taking a break from technology”, and “following a specific diet”.
The emergence of ‘quality time’ as part of a regular health routine
In comparing this year’s results with previous years, we see that “getting enough sleep” has remained a constant as one of the most important activities in maintaining physical health, while ‘quality time’ is becoming increasingly more important. “Taking a break from technology” has been one of the fastest rising activities (one in three are now including it in their health routine), and “spending time with family, friends, or pets” has climbed the ranks to be almost as important as exercising.
While spending quality time with loved ones and unplugging from technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of physical health, they do play an important role in people’s regular routines, and could present an opportunity for brands to connect and resonate with the right audience.
Eating right and other physical health activities
Eating the right food is just as significant for a physical health routine, with “eating healthy nutritious food” being listed as a top activity and “following a specific diet” being the fastest riser from previous years. Health conscious brands may be seeing an uptick as a result, while fast food sales and brands thought of as unhealthy may struggle in certain markets.
Other physical health activities listed in the global survey included “using skin care or beauty products” (46% of respondents do this as part of their regular routine), “meditating or using other relaxation techniques” (25%), “using herbal or holistic remedies” (23%), and “getting cosmetic/elective surgery or non-surgical procedures including dental” (10%).
For brands, these findings can be helpful in successfully targeting high-potential audiences both globally and within specific countries, as definitions of physical health and the means for attaining it clearly mean different things to different cultures.
About the study
We asked 23,000 consumers (aged 15 or over) online in 17 countries to indicate which activities from a given list they do regularly to maintain their physical health. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2017. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. The global average given in this release is weighted, based on the size of each country proportional to the other countries. In 2014 GfK interviewed more than 21,000 consumers in 16 countries (excluding the Netherlands). Countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.
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