Australians ageing up to nine years faster than they should be


Thursday, 24 June, 2021

Australians ageing up to nine years faster than they should be

A new health and wellbeing age calculator has revealed that some age groups have an average health age of up to nine years older than their chronological age.

Launched by health and life insurer AIA Australia and its science-backed health and wellness program, AIA Vitality, the AIA Vitality Age Calculator asks participants a range of questions based on their demographics, as well as their key health and wellbeing habits and behaviours.

The calculator considers exercise habits, diet, smoking status, alcohol consumption and mental wellbeing to produce a ‘health and wellbeing’ age, which is compared against the user’s chronological age.

Using national data, AIA Vitality has generated an average health age profile of the nation, which shows that females are faring better than their male counterparts when it comes to their average health age.

When comparing how the generations are ageing, Gen X (40–54 years) was the worst performing, with a health age that is up to nine years older than their chronological age.

Millennials (18–39 years) were the best-performing group; however, their health age is still up to three years older than their actual age.

AIA Australia is encouraging Australians to use the AIA Vitality Age Calculator to learn their AIA Vitality Age. The launch will coincide with the ‘Battle of the Ages’ campaign on AIA Vitality’s social media platforms, which will provide support to each generation to reduce the gap between their chronological age and AIA Vitality Age.

  • Team Millennials will be led by AIA Vitality Ambassadors Bec Judd and Laura Henshaw.
  • Team Gen X will be led by AIA Vitality Ambassadors Shane Crawford and Hamish McLachlan.
  • Team Boomers will be led by Richard Wilkins.
     

“The AIA Vitality Age Calculator provides valuable insights into our state of our health and wellbeing,” Keep it Cleaner co-founder and AIA Vitality Ambassador Laura Henshaw said. “I can’t wait to lead Team Millennials to improve their AIA Vitality Age in the Battle of the Ages challenge!”

The AIA Vitality Age Calculator also reveals the following generational insights when it comes to the real health age of Australians:

  • Millennials have the healthiest body mass index (BMI) range, while baby boomers (55–74 years) were the worst performing when it comes to their BMI.
  • Millennials are doing the most exercise, while baby boomers are doing the least.
  • Baby boomers eat the most fruit and vegetables, while millennials trail behind the other generations.
  • Gen X drink the most alcohol per week, while millennials drink the least.
  • Millennials had the highest distress score when it comes to their mental health, while baby boomers had the best mental health score.
     

AIA Australia and New Zealand CEO and Managing Director Damien Mu said, “While the results may show a concerning picture about the state of the nation’s health and wellbeing, it is also an opportunity for Australians to make healthier lifestyle choices every day. It does not need to be big things, which can sometimes feel overwhelming and unachievable. Instead, start with simple and small changes, which in turn can lead to a significant long-term improvement.

“With health at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment, we have found ourselves in the midst of a global fight for healthier, longer, better lives,” Mu said.

“As a health and life insurer with the goal of championing Australia and New Zealand to be the healthiest nations in the world, we have a crucial role to play in educating Australians about how they can improve their health every day — which is why we’re excited to launch the AIA Vitality Age Calculator to the public. We want Australians to use the calculator so that they can be empowered to understand how their health is faring, and the steps they can take to make changes for the better,” he added.

The AIA Vitality Age Calculator is free for all Australians to use at www.aiavitalityage.com.au.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Leah-Anne Thompson

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