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86% of Australians are taking care of their health

People exercising

By Juliano Oliveira

COVID-19 is about to complete one year in Australia since the 100th case was recorded in March 2020. Its impact on society’s routine has made that millions of people worldwide entered into quarantine.

In an interval of ten months, 86% of Australians confirmed have taken care of their physical health, while 67% took steps to manage their mental health.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) entails the months between March 2020 and January 2021.

“The most common activities used to manage physical health were regular walks (60%), regular physical activity (47%), watching or changing their diet (47%) and getting enough sleep (46%),” ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said.

“Common strategies for managing mental health included organising their home, life or other things (36%), doing more of the things they enjoy (31%) and practising thinking positively or setting achievable goals (30%).”

Mr Zago recognises a shift in priorities for many Australians regarding their physical and mental health: 30% confirmed prioritising their physical health more since the beginning of the COVID-19; 26% focused on their mental health.

Australians over the age of 65 led the concern with physical health due to the pandemic (50%). Among interviewed aged 18 to 34 years, the rate was 36%.

The survey also explored the impact of COVID-19 on social gatherings between December 2020 and January 2021.

“During that time, one in three Australians (36%) chose not to attend a social gathering because of concerns about COVID-19,” Mr Zago said.

“When they did attend social gatherings, people were more comfortable with gatherings at a friend or family member’s residence (87%) or their own residence (86%), than at nightclubs or bars (34%) or community events (53%).”

The majority (92%) of Australians who did attend a social gathering took one or more precautions due to COVID-19.

“People aged 65 years and over (62%) were more likely to avoid interactions like shaking hands and hugging than those aged 18 to 64 years (56%). While, people born overseas (38%) were more likely than people born in Australia (31%) to wear a facemask to a social gathering due to COVID-19.”

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