Time to evaluate our health and wellbeing?

I think it’s safe to say that this year has put the spotlight on the impact ill health can have on anyone. The pandemic has demonstrated that no one is immune from becoming sick – it really is the great leveler.

At Aviva, we’ve recently conducted a survey to ask respondents how they view their health and wellbeing. The results have been collated and are in our report ‘The changing health landscape.’ There’s a clear shift to focusing on our health and wanting to do more to ensure we stay as well as we can be. We’ve split the insights into three key areas.

We are developing a new relationship with our physical and mental health. Exercise is a higher priority for many, alongside eating more healthily and generally having a healthier lifestyle. We want to stay well. Mental health has proved to be a major concern, for both respondents and their loved ones. Many people are worried about the impact their mental health has on their wellbeing, but few seem to know where to access advice or support.

The digital landscape can be a valuable resource. The vast majority of our respondents believe waiting times for medical appointments will be higher as a result of the pandemic. COVID-19 has already placed huge pressure on the healthcare system. Accessing digital services can help with many aspects of our health, with apps for everything from mindfulness to nutritional advice. We can also use the online world to get support in preventing illness from developing, access health screening remotely, or access specialist treatment for specific conditions.

We can also use the online world to get support in preventing illness from developing, access health screening remotely, or access specialist treatment

Paul Brencher, managing director, individual protection, Aviva

The best medicine is a healthy mind and body. It sounds obvious but being in the best of health is one of the most effective ways of staying well. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all conditions, but a healthy person will be better equipped to cope with sickness than someone who doesn’t take good care of themselves. Supporting each other to do the best we can in this regard is critical. Identifying possible risks and taking action to reduce that risk can have a lasting impact on our health, now and in the future.

Our report offers many more interesting insights into the ways our attitude towards our health is changing. The biggest shift, however, has been in wanting to pre-empt potential health issues. This can be achieved via medical support or changes in lifestyle, but both reflect a desire to take control of our health, through all the channels available to us, and to focus on prevention.

What can you do to help your clients’ wellbeing? From calming financial worries to encouraging them to adopt a healthy lifestyle – a healthy client, in mind and body, will surely be a happier one.

Paul Brencher, managing director, Individual Protection, Aviva