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‘Healthy’ Kiwis wearing rose tinted glasses

‘Healthy’ Kiwis wearing rose tinted glasses

New research from Sovereign shows discrepancy in health perceptions

More than half of us believe we’re above average when it comes to health but the country as a whole doesn’t fare too well, according to new research by Sovereign.

“Our latest research revealed 57% of Kiwis think that New Zealand, as a nation, is not very healthy but 53% believe they live a healthier lifestyle than the average New Zealander so it doesn’t apply to them,” says Sovereign Chief Medical Officer Dr John Mayhew.

“Interestingly, men rate themselves slightly higher than their female counterparts and 72% of those in Marlborough and West Coast believe their health is above the average New Zealander.”

Sovereign’s research also delved into what we believe good health to be, including our understanding of what contributes to a healthy life.

“There are documented medical links between happiness and good health. Happier people live longer and experience less heart disease, colds, high blood pressure and other serious illnesses. At Sovereign, more than 30% of our disability income claims are due to mental illness. People need to be more aware of the importance of their happiness and its contribution to our overall health,” says Dr Mayhew.

In another concerning statistic, a significant 66% of people admitted to suffering from insomnia or broken sleep over the last 12 months.

“Not getting enough shut-eye on a regular basis can have devastating effects on your health including weight-gain, insulin resistance and an increased risk of accidents,” says Dr Mayhew.

Encouraged by the finding that 60% of Kiwis believe they are focusing more on their health now than they did a year ago, Sovereign has launched a new campaign inspiring New Zealanders to take charge of their health and understand the four essentials of a healthy lifestyle: Exercise, eating well, sleep and happiness.

Sovereign CEO Symon Brewis-Weston explains the ‘Life. Take charge’ campaign is not aimed at telling Kiwis how to be healthier, it is about giving them tools to do it.

“We have decided it’s time to break the insurance industry mould and begin a movement that encourages Kiwis to take control of their health proactively before they need our help fixing them. Over the coming months, we’ll literally be giving New Zealanders tools that will help them have a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Stay tuned,” says Brewis-Weston.

“Supporting New Zealanders to live healthier lifestyles will not only make a difference to each person individually, the lives of their families and communities, but to the country overall. Healthier people need less medical intervention. Healthier communities place fewer burdens on the public health system. Healthy people are happier people and have better wellbeing.”

For more information on the ‘Life.Take charge’ campaign, visit:


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