Unwinding? Filipinos do it all wrong


MANILA, Philippines–Many Filipinos relax or unwind to relieve stress but most of them do it wrongly, according to a study commissioned by health provider PhilCare.

The study, intended to measure the Filipinos’ state of wellness, showed that an overwhelming majority—more than 85 percent—enjoy a good balance between their work and their lifestyles.

However, 41.1 percent of them admitted experiencing some stress, the study’s Wellness Index showed.

“This is because many still tend to relate the ‘happy hour’ mentality as a means to achieve a balanced life,” said Dr. Liza Espiritu, PhilCare clinic operations manager.

“Regarding stress, many resort to binge-drinking after office. This is their way to handle stress. Unfortunately, this is not the correct way to do it. Stress management …  should not be an excuse to damage your body,” she said at a press briefing.

Biking than smoking

Based on the study, which was done in March, the majority of Filipinos regularly drink alcohol. Fifty-eight percent said they drank alcoholic beverages, consuming six bottles or glasses of alcohol per week.

Forty-nine percent also smoke cigarettes and, on average, consume 10 sticks daily, the study showed.

“Why not consider doing more physical activities as a way to unwind, like hiking, biking, or engaging in other sports activities. These activities not only relieve stress but make you healthy as well,” Espiritu said.

The Wellness Index involved interviews with 1,200 respondents from the upper-income class all over the country. They were asked about their lifestyle as well as the nutritional, physical, psychological and medical aspects of their lives.

An eye-opener

Overall, the findings indicate that Filipinos have a strong sense of well-being.

“However, there remains a significant room to improve this sense of wellness or state of being happy,” said Dr. Fernando Paragas, head researcher of the study.

Noemi Azura, PhilCare president and CEO, said the survey findings should be an eye-opener on how Filipinos perceived the idea of leading healthy lives.

“The results tell us there is more to health than just providing medical services when we are sick. The study made it apparent that there are contradictions between how Filipinos perceive what is healthy and how they are actually pursuing a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

PhilCare officials said their next study would involve respondents from the lower socioeconomic class.

46% overweight


Among the key findings of the survey was that Filipinos could be in denial about their health. According to the survey, 54 percent believe their weight is ideal for their height and 54 percent think they are in overall good health.

However, when respondents gave their actual height and weight, it appears only 45 percent fit the normal category applying the Asian body mass index (BMI). Forty-six percent are either overweight or obese, while another 8.6 percent fall below the average.

The survey also showed that 44 percent of respondents know what comprises a balanced diet. In fact, 70 percent said they ate breakfast regularly while about 60 percent ate fruits and vegetables daily.

However, 27 percent of them regularly eat fried or fatty food, 21 percent love eating sugary food and drinks, and 15 percent eat processed and junk food daily.

Dangerous habit

Another contradiction that came out was how Filipinos tend to behave when it comes to getting medical care. On the upside, 59 percent said they would go to a doctor when they got sick.

But the majority—or 74 percent—still admit that they self-medicate, which Espiritu said was a very dangerous habit of Filipinos.

“We should stop thinking of doctors as the last resort whenever we feel something. They are the best persons who can prescribe the proper medication and not your pharmacist and, certainly, not your friends and relatives,” Espiritu said.

“And we have to stop (thinking of our) health only when we get sick,” she added.

Universal healthcare

Azura said the survey also aimed at gathering information on how companies and the government could come up with policies to promote the well-being of Filipinos.

“We are making the results of this study available to companies who want to come up with corporate wellness programs. The government can also use the results to come up with campaigns to counter lifestyle diseases,” Azura said.

“The study can also help our lawmakers in crafting pieces of legislation that will raise the state of health in the country, especially as the administration pushes for a more responsive and relevant universal healthcare,” she said.

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  • Pulis Na Pogi

    i try naman nila mag survey sa squatters area. kahit walang stress, inom pa rin. hahaha!

    • Ako_pa

      Para daw ganahan pagdating sa bahay, dadami na naman lahi nila… LOL.

  • pawok

    Thank you, PhilHealth, for this very sensible study. I agree with all the findings. I’ve also wasted a lot of money and time and damaged my well-being doing the wrong kind of relaxation in my younger days. Drinking and smoking were the most useless activities I’ve ever done.

    • Ornbort

      kawawa naman ang nag sponsor ng article na ito…napapagkamalang PhilHealth hehe. PhilCare is a private HMO.

  • Pulis Na Pogi

    why don’t they consider the liquor advertisements as a factor? I can’t remember the brand but there is one advertisement for a drink that states “ang diploma ko ay para sa kuyang ganado” and the “ganado driver.”

    actually most liquor brands zero-in on the theme “drinking is relaxation”

    very misleading advertisements…

    • Ornbort

      stop reading advertisements. turn off your tv and go out.

      • Pulis Na Pogi

        hehe, i hear these advertisements on my car radio when i unwind by driving around…

      • Ornbort

        play mp3s or better yet, listen to audio books or courses from the Teaching Company.

      • Pulis Na Pogi

        yaps i do that. but i get inputs for my blog through the am band…

        hahaha, mali nga nu? stress pa rin e. but my blog is a catharsis for me anyway…

  • barry

    We should stop thinking of doctors as the last resort whenever we feel something

    -simple reason $$$$$$$$

    • Ornbort

      also, what kind of doctors do we have here? baka hammer and nail type of prescription ang style nila.

  • farmerson

    They maybe the right person to consult, but how about their price?

  • Guest

    Andami niyong alam Philhealth. Eh kung bayaran niyo na lang kaya mga utang niyo sa ospital para hindi na nila ireject yung mga Philhealth deductions next month? Simple lang naman ang sagot diyan sa mga points na ni-raise you (however valid)
    Smoking > Biking = Mura lang ang yosi at immediate gratification. Mahal ang bike at safety gear at puno din ng mga sasakyan yung bike lane.
    Overweight = mahal ang gulay, mura ang sardinas at instant noodles.
    Medical care = hindi lahat may health insurance, at kahit may health insurance ka, malamang na kailangan mo pa umabsent para makapagpacheck up sa haba ng pila lagi sa ospital. Absent = walang sweldo

    Bawasan niyo kasi yung mga bonus na binubulsa nyo para mapunta naman sa mga serbisyo para sa mga tax payers.

    • trader1nb

      Ang layo ng narating pag iisip mo.

    • dokboyet

      Mr. Guest OUT OF TOPIC PO KAU! Hindi po PHILHEALTH, ang nagsasalita po dito ay officials ng PHILCARE…malaki po pagkakaiba…PHILHEALTH is gov’t sponsored healthcare, PHILCARE is private healthcare provider…HEHEHEHE…Basahin maigi ang news para hindi nagmumukhang T.A.N.G.A.!

      • Guest

        The dog may have barked at the wrong tree but he has expressed the sentiment of a commoner.

  • _Intel_

    pero ginagawa to ng japan. happy hour with their clients

    • Ornbort

      because there is a return on investment. here there is only a return on weight, population or abused women and children.

      • _Intel_

        ahh true true.. si san miguel kasi nagpasimuno na lahat ng oras dapat may beer na katabi.

      • Ornbort

        sino naman mga tanga na nakinig? stop watching commercials.

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