WIN International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling, has published the Annual WIN World Survey – WWS 2021 – exploring the views and beliefs of 33.236 individuals among citizens from 39 countries across the globe. On International Health’s Day, WIN releases the latest results of the survey, to understand health self-perception and related habits.

In 2021, the general perception about health remains stable compared to 2020 results (from 79% to 77%); men perceive themselves healthier than women (80% and 75% respectively). In Africa, the number of people saying that they are healthy goes up to 90%; when looking at countries, the share of people who consider themselves healthy are 93% for Vietnam and 92% for Nigeria. On the other hand, among the countries were people consider themselves less healthy we find Chile (with 57%) and Poland (with 55%).

According to the OMS, there is inequality among people in terms of access to health services and healthy habits, which depends on variables such as socio – economic statements and birthplace conditions. However, health can also be strengthened depending on the healthy and unhealthy habits that each person has individually.

The survey takes into consideration healthy and unhealthy habits such as: eating healthy, sleeping well, doing exercises, suffering from stress, smoking and drinking alcohol. While almost all habits were also included in previous surveys and can therefore be compared to past results, eating healthy is a newly added habit in this latest edition.

Despite more than two years have gone by since the Covid19 pandemic hit, there aren´t considerable changes compared to previous years when it comes to the habits evaluated. However, the pandemic scenario might have an effect on mental health: for example, the number of people suffering from stress is increasing over the years (31% in 2020 vs 33% in 2021).

Healthy eating

On a total level, 67% of people surveyed affirm to maintain a healthy personal daily nutrition, and the majority are women. People who tend to eat healthier are also the older generations, from 65 years onwards (76%), followed by 55-64 (69%). Moreover, Africa and APAC are the regions registering the highest percentages of people who eat healthy (86% and 70% respectively), and among the countries included in this study, we find Vietnam (91%), Philippines (87%) and Nigeria (83%).

Doing physical exercise

In a similar way to last year, 40% of the participants of this survey affirm to do physical exercise constantly. Men (43%) tend to do more exercise than women (37%). Moreover, individuals with a higher level of education usually do more physical exercise (54%). In what respects to countries, India (64%), Finland (59%) and Paraguay (56%) are the ones that register the higher scores of people saying that they exercise regularly.

Suffer from stress

Nowadays, more people affirm to be suffering from stress, as a probable consequence of the context of COVID – 19. Women are the most affected in this sense, as 38% of women worldwide say they suffer from stress. The same goes for people with lower economical incomes (37%) and students (40%). MENA and Europe have the highest percentages of people registering stress (42% and 35% respectively). Japan (49%), Serbia (49%) and Croatia (48%) are the countries where people seem to suffer from stress the most.

Smoke

On a total level, 74% of people say smoking is not a habit, as they occasionally or never smoke. Men (22%) tend to smoke more regularly compared to women (13%). When considering one’s own occupation, it is interesting to note that there is the same amount of smokers among full – time and unemployed people. Among countries, Greece, Palestine and Turkey are the ones that rank higher (37%, 36% and 34% respectively) with people smoking very often.

Drink alcohol

Indiscriminate alcohol consumption is associated with multiple sicknesses, some of them chronic. Nevertheless, drinking keeps being a widely spread habit in some countries, such as Japan (46%). Moreover, the number of men that drink alcohol (20%) is almost twice as higher as women’s (11%). In Europe, 20% of people say alcohol consumption is a frequent habit, and in the MENA region, 89% of people assures to do it occasionally or almost never.

Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

The WIN World Survey section on Health keeps providing important insights, which become even more necessary in recent years. The high share of people adopting healthy habits is stable compared to previous years, meaning that people keep considering health an important value to take care of. Of course, there are some less healthy habits that might be difficult to overcome: in some countries, these habits might also be related to culture and lifestyle, and people are now eager to go back enjoying those habits after the pandemic, even if they’re not the healthiest ones. There seems to be a balance between caring about one’s own health, and having troubles overcoming unhealthy habits, which can both be considered a consequence of the pandemic. Overall, data point towards and optimistic result: globally, the vast majority of the population consider themselves healthy, and there is no world region where this perception scores lower than 70%.

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