1 in 4 Canadians admit they’re not in good physical health

1 in 4 Canadians admit they’re not in good physical health (CNW Group/Desjardins Group)

More than half (55%) of respondents who rated their physical activity as fair or poor were female, 45 percent were male.

Online apps, in-home training and access to the latest nutritional information gives Canadians the tools they need to help them lead a healthier lifestyle. And yet, according to a new Desjardins survey released today, about one quarter (24%) of respondents do not believe they are in good physical health.

“Proper nutrition and physical activity are essential to preventing things like heart disease and cancer. This survey shows that we can still make healthy improvements in our lifestyle and this is very important to Desjardins. Our partnership between the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society shows our mutual goal to promote healthier lifestyles and prevent disease.” – Gregory Chrispin, Executive Vice President, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance Executive Division, Desjardins

Physical activity and healthy eating

When it comes to physical activity the results are even more eye opening. More than half (55%) of respondents who rated their physical activity as fair or poor were female, 45 percent were male.

Our health is significantly impacted by diet and exercise. When it comes to exercise, almost 30 per cent indicated they do not participate in any form of physical activity. And of those who do, many (26%) say the costs associated with exercise (programs, equipment, memberships, classes) requires a significant financial compromise within their budget.

Where diet is concerned, experts say that eating less processed food and portion control are ways to be healthier, but 1 in 5 respondents admit they don’t regularly eat fresh foods. In addition, nearly 30 per cent don’t pay attention to portion sizes and 23 per cent frequently overeat to feel good.

As was the case with exercise, the cost of eating also comes into play. Forty-four per cent say that they make financial compromises to integrate costs related to their eating habits into their budget.

Partnering for better health

To further help Canadians focus on prevention as a way to live healthy, Desjardins is partnering with the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). Over the next three years Desjardins will donate over $1 million to the following programs:

  • Heart & Stroke – The Breakthrough Fund Created to build a network of funders, and to drive ground-breaking research and its potential impact on the health of Canadians. Breakthroughs like the discovery of a drug that can shield the brain from stroke damage, or understanding and preventing SCAD, a mysterious condition that causes heart attacks in young and otherwise healthy women.

“We’re delighted that our longtime partner Desjardins is focusing its support on the critical work we do in prevention with The Breakthrough Fund.  Nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.  This fund supports researchers whose work holds great promise in terms of our efforts to promote health and prevent disease.” – Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke.

  • Canadian Cancer Society –  It’s My Life!: Research shows that about half of all cancers can be prevented. CCS is working to make that a reality for Canadians with It’s My Life!, an interactive, evidence-based tool that teaches people about risk factors they can modify to reduce their cancer risk by making simple changes.

“The Canadian Cancer Society is excited to welcome Desjardins as our prevention partner and presenting sponsor of our It’s My Life! interactive online tool. With nearly 1 in 2 Canadians expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, now more than ever we need people to take action to reduce their cancer risk. Eating well and making healthy choices are small but important steps to stay on the path of great health at any age.” – Lynne Hudson, President and CEO, Canadian Cancer Society

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March, 2018, polled 2,964 people across Canada.

About Desjardins
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $276.3 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.