A study by Southern Cross has tracked the physical, emotional and social health of more than 3,000 New Zealanders.
Research by the insurer and private healthcare organisation, began in 2019 and data reveals changes in Kiwis’ attitudes and behaviours during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Southern Cross Health Society Chief Medical Officer, Dr Stephen Child, says that while there was uncertainty during lockdown about the potential impact to health, job security, family pressures and the economy, the organisation’s Healthy Futures Report (to be released in July) reveals that New Zealanders reported feeling less stressed overall during that time.
Excerpts from the report show that the slower pace of life resulted in more people feeling they were getting enough sleep (from 46% to 61%). The hours of sleep increased from 6.97 hours to 7.29 hours, moving Kiwis into the recommended range of 7-9 hours’ sleep.
When it came to fitness, more people felt they were getting enough exercise during lockdown than previously (from 37% to 41%), and people chose to exercise outdoors more (up by 10%).
Additionally, more Kiwis agreed their work-life balance was now ‘excellent’ compared to pre-lockdown (from 10% to 14%) and felt their workplaces were more likely to better support their wellness (from 18% to 24%).