Get your passport to health in Japan

Get your passport! Japan considered healthiest nation in the world!

  • Out of all 195 nations across the world, Japan is considered to have the healthiest lifestyle, with the UK taking 16th place
  • 76% of Brits believe they are healthy, compared to only 33% of Germans
  • Since the Covid-19 pandemic, 53% of global respondents claimed they now take their health more seriously
  • The majority of respondents (57% globally) report wanting more government support in caring for their health

Are you seeking a healthier lifestyle in 2023? Then you may want to find your passport and head to Japan. A new international poll of 8,000 respondents from Australia, Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the USA revealed out of all 195 nations, Japan is believed to be the healthiest (15%) — followed by Switzerland (12%), Sweden (12%), Norway (10%) and New Zealand (9%). The United Kingdom is considered the 16th most healthy with 5% of the vote.

Nearly four out of five (78%) of overall respondents said they currently feel healthy.

Out of the eight countries surveyed, respondents from Spain (91%), Brazil (86%), and America (86%) claimed they currently felt healthy — more than the other nations surveyed (76% in the United Kingdom, 74% in New Zealand, 74% in Australia and 73% in South Korea). Meanwhile, respondents from Germany reported feeling the most unhealthy out of the eight nations, with 33% categorising themselves as currently being “very unhealthy.”

Commissioned by the psychology-backed behaviour change programme Noom, as part of their States of Healthy Behaviors Report and conducted by OnePoll, the study found that for many, being “healthy” takes on different forms – and not all of the respondents defined health in purely physical terms.

Across the globe, most respondents defined “healthy” as being physically fit (31%), exercising regularly (31%), being emotionally happy (30%), and getting adequate sleep on a regular basis (30%).

Brits also agreed that being physically fit (40%) was the best quantifier of being ‘healthy’, however, they considered eating plenty of fruit and vegetables (32%) and regularly getting adequate sleep (29%) as the next best definitions.
In South Korea, health was all about being stress-free (48%). In New Zealand, it was critical to get adequate sleep (34%). In Australia, the top definition was eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (36%).

A majority of respondents (average 57% globally) report wanting government support in caring for their health — respondents believed that government interventions like improving access to mental health care (34%), making medications more affordable (24%), and banning artificial preservatives (21%) would all positively impact their health and wellbeing.

The survey also revealed the biggest issues impacting both physical and mental wellness on an international scale, providing even more support and evidence of why health solutions must address the two in tandem.

When it comes to mental wellness, respondents report struggling when it comes to managing stress around general physical health concerns (48%), the economy (43%), finances (41%), their jobs (40%), and personal responsibilities (32%).
Meanwhile, family and caregiving responsibilities (17%), their romantic lives (14%), and maintaining friendships (11%) were found to be among the biggest hurdles to achieving good physical health.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, 53% claimed they take their health more seriously. Similarly, 21% said they have felt more productive throughout their average days since the pandemic began.

Although overall productivity reportedly increased among respondents, some nations felt their productivity has decreased since the onset of the pandemic. Fifty-four percent of South Korean and 46% of American respondents said their productivity throughout their day-to-day lives has taken a dip, whilst just 28% of Brits felt the same.

“It is encouraging to see people across the globe thinking about health in multifaceted, holistic ways, and embracing the mind-body connection,” said Saeju Jeong, co-founder and CEO of Noom. “This realistic approach signals that our society is shifting toward more sustainable health practices, a philosophy that we have believed in since our beginning. We hope to see more digital health organisations promote holistic solutions as it’s clear our industry has a continued opportunity to lead dialogues about what true health looks like and how to maintain it for the long-term.”

Since the pandemic began, 36% of Brits have taken their mental health more seriously and 30% say they have picked up good habits in some capacity, demonstrating an awareness of the connection between mind and body when it comes to health.

More than half of Brits (67%) have developed at least four new habits since the onset of Covid-19 that have now become a part of their daily routine.

The tools that most helped Brits stick with their habits were having access to digital health programmes (22%) and having support from family and friends (22%). The most common barrier Brits felt to forming and maintaining these habits was lack of motivation (14%).

But for many, adopting healthy habits is still a challenge. In fact, many shared what they would rather do than make the healthy changes needed to lose weight. Specifically, 1 in 20 would give up sex for a year and 1 in 20 would give up two weeks’ holiday.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 8,000 general population adults from Australia, Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States was commissioned by Noom between December 23, 2022 and January 3, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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