COVID-19 anxieties prompt healthier, fitter lifestyles in Asia: Manulife survey

ManulifeEVNA

05 August 2020: Amid the anxiety and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, people across Asia are starting to adopt healthier lifestyle habits in terms of physical health and mental well-being, and increasingly recognise the convenience of digital technology in their day-to-day lives, according to a new survey by Manulife Asia Care Survey.

Manulife’s survey involved 2,400 insurance owners across eight markets takes a closer look at the pandemic’s long-term impact on local economies, etc. The survey, which was conducted in late May, covered Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Around 50% of policyholders surveyed said that getting more physically healthy was a new habit they have formed since the pandemic, with 41% of them saying they expect to be continuing healthier ways of living in the next 18 months. At the same time, 33% of the Asia respondents also started to monitor their mental health status.

The concerns expressed by the Manulife Survey respondents about the impact of COVID-19 on their local economies correlate with the rate of new cases. In Mainland China and Vietnam, only 11% and 18% respectively are expecting COVID-19 to worsen during that period. In Indonesia and Philippines, where the number of new cases is rising, insurance owners were far less sanguine – 74% and 58% respectively felt COVID-19 would be slightly more or much more serious six months down the road. That contrasts with an average of 41% across all markets.

According to the survey, the trend towards digital goes beyond financial services. Use of online services (61%), e-commerce tools for shopping and digital platforms (54%), including social media for news (54%) have jumped discernibly.