The index factors in various parameters, including the frequency with which people get medical check-ups and regular exercise. It might not be surprising that old people score better on both counts, given a naturally greater preoccupation with their health and more time to focus on it. But the survey shows older people score better on a range of metrics.
Compared to the region’s young, more elderly people in Asia say they eat healthily (89 per cent vs 77 per cent), get sufficient sleep (83 per cent vs 73 per cent) and have a good handle on reducing stress (84 per cent vs 75 per cent), all contributing to a happier frame of mind and outlook (88 per cent vs 81 per cent).
The study shows 70 per cent of people aged over 65 exercise regularly compared to 58 per cent for those aged 18-29. Nearly 30 per cent of older people exercise for more than seven hours a week, compared to only 17 per cent in the younger age group - a trend that could perhaps be attributed to the latter having fewer free hours during the work week.
“I don’t have time to exercise” is an easy excuse, though. It would be far better for the young to follow their grandparents and adopt healthy habits early, rather than waiting until they are already facing health problems that need mitigating.
Intergenerational advice needn’t just go in one direction, of course. In what seems to be a confirmation of the adage that old habits die hard, fewer people in the 65-plus age group, compared to those aged 18-29, have been successful in their recent attempts to reduce alcohol (69 percent vs 78 per cent) or caffeine consumption (67 percent vs 70 per cent). They have also had trouble quitting smoking, with only 28 per cent of those over 65 who have tried to do so recently saying they were able to quit, compared to 63 per cent among those aged 18-29. So grandparents have plenty to learn from their grandchildren, too.