Fewer and fewer Germans live healthy

Fewer and fewer Germans live healthy

Only ten percent of Germans have a healthy lifestyle

The majority of Germans live unhealthily, especially in young and middle age, according to one of the key messages of the current DKV report "How healthy does Germany live?" On behalf of the German Health Insurance (DKV), experts from the Center for Health of the German Sport University Cologne conducted a survey on the health behavior of the population.

According to the results of the current survey, only one in ten Germans is convinced that they are living an all-round healthy lifestyle. Many of the respondents saw their personal deficits, particularly when it came to diet, exercise behavior and dealing with stress. The daily sitting times were also alarmingly high, especially among the younger respondents. Here, the leisure time in front of the PC or the pastime in social networks can be mentioned as one of the reasons for the insufficient physical activity. However, the lack of exercise was far less pronounced among older respondents. Overall, they rated their lifestyle as significantly healthier.

Over 3,000 people questioned about their health behavior In the representative survey for the DKV, 3,032 people were asked about their health behavior in everyday life. How much are you moving? What are you eating? How do you deal with alcohol and cigarettes? How stressed are you? With such questions, the scientists at the Cologne Sports University collected data for the analysis of the health behavior of the test subjects. Questions were also asked about mental balance and sleep behavior. "The results of the survey show bright and dark sides in the health behavior of Germans," said the DKV. Lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and stress are growing problems, but tobacco and alcohol are doing well. The number of smokers has decreased from 25 to 22 percent compared to the 2010 DKV report, and a comparable development was recorded for unhealthy alcohol consumption (decrease from 19 to 16 percent).

More than half of Germans are overweight? The development in nutrition and physical activities is of concern. Almost half of those surveyed felt that they were overweight. Most are well aware of the health risks from being overweight. 79 percent of those surveyed see obesity as "a major social problem." Clemens Muth, CEO of DKV, explained that overweight and lack of exercise harm more and more people's health. This leads "to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and back pain", with correspondingly increasing costs in the healthcare system. Comprehensive prevention campaigns are needed here. This is also confirmed by the desire of 74 percent of those questioned for a traffic light system for labeling healthy and unhealthy foods.

Lack of exercise is a widespread problem The widespread lack of exercise goes hand in hand with increased overweight and, according to the results of the current DKV report, is also becoming a growing problem. Almost half of the respondents did not come up with the World Health Organization's (WHO) minimum recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. "The number of people who give their body a sufficient amount of exercise has decreased further compared to the DKV Report 2010," reports the DKV. The most common is lack of exercise in the middle age groups, but also the 18 to 29 year olds are increasingly becoming a lack of exercise. Overall, terrifying "thirty percent of all respondents stated that they were not physically active at all in their free time," according to the DKV.

Young people with long daily sitting times The scientific head of the DKV report, Ingo Froböse from the Center for Health at the German Sport University in Cologne, explained in view of the widespread lack of exercise: "We drive in the car, work on the computer, and in our free time our media usage increases. The body remains passive while we let off steam in social networks. ”This can also be seen in the sitting times of the respondents. The youngest participants in the survey (18 to 29-year-olds) recorded the longest sitting times with an average of six hours a day. However, the long sitting time does not necessarily have to lead to weight problems. "Too little exercise is harmful to everyone's health, but it doesn't make everyone fat," says Froböse.

Does high income protect against mental health problems? The focal points of psychological stability and sleep behavior, which were also queried, make it clear that every fifth respondent is not balanced and shows signs of listlessness and depressed mood, reports the DKV. "The number of people affected increases with body weight and decreases with higher educational status and higher income", the health insurance company said. Accordingly, people with higher incomes felt significantly more vital on average than people with low incomes. "With more than 4,000 euros of household net income per month, the feeling of vitality", according to the DKV, "reaches the highest values." Most respondents also get a good night's sleep among the well-paid and those with a high level of education.

Women live healthier than men Another result of the DKV report is that women on average appear to be significantly healthier than men. They eat more consciously, exercise more and drink less alcohol. Regarding the health behavior of seniors (aged over 65 years), the current survey finds that they maintain the healthiest lifestyle of all age groups. The elderly were only more susceptible to psychological complaints. Overall, the current DKV report shows a negative development in the health behavior of Germans compared to the previous survey from 2010. Today, only 11 percent of those surveyed rate their lifestyle as completely healthy, compared to 14 percent of study participants two years ago. (fp)

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