THE BLOG

You Know How to Be Healthy, So Do It

05/01/2013 12:25 EDT | Updated 07/01/2013 05:12 EDT

"If you've got your health..." Well we all know how that quote ends. We also know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But how are Canadians making sure to protect their health, for themselves, and their families?

According to a recent poll, 64% of families say "eating healthy" is the top priority in protecting their health. Yet 14% say they still have this on their "to do" list. Likewise "exercising regularly" is a top priority for 44%, but with a bigger 32% admitting this is something they would like to do, but have not yet done.

Rounding out the top three, 25% of Canadian families say taking vitamins and supplements is important, with 14% still waiting "to do" just that. This is a similar pattern as the top 12 list unfolds -- Canadians are well aware of the right things to do when it comes to our health, but moving them from a "doing" list seems to be tough.

Interestingly, there is a difference between men and women. While on an aggregated basis the top three priorities mentioned of eating healthy, exercising and taking vitamins, men place greater priority on exercise and limiting alcohol, whereas women focus more on eating healthy, taking vitamins or applying sunscreen.

The good news is that Canadians are aware that the number one way to take care of their health is focused on the food that they eat, and how they manage their body weight and fitness levels. Awareness can often lead to action.

But there are other ways we can prevent the onset of illness. When asked if their family's immunizations were up to date, 75% of Canadians said "Yes", 8% "No", with the remaining 17% admitting they "don't know." (For up-to-date vaccination schedules and information about vaccines, www.urimmunized.com is a great resource for families.) Those with children are more likely to place an emphasis on making sure vaccinations are up to date for the whole family.

The complete list from the research findings is below. What things do you need to move from the "to do" to the "doing" list in order to keep your family healthy?

Canadian's "Top Priorities" When it Comes to Health Protection

1. Eat healthy, (64%), 14% to do

2. Exercise regularly (44%), 32% to do

3. Take vitamins/supplements (25%) 14% to do

4. Lose weight (24%) 29% to do

5. Apply sunscreen (21%) 14% to do

6. Stay at home when sick (19%) 15% to do

7. Schedule regular visits with the doctor (18%) 18% to do

8. Ensure smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are working in my home (16%), 14% to do

9. Quit smoking (15%) 14% to do

10. Ensure immunizations are up to date (14%) 10% to do

11. Limit alcohol intake (11%) 11% to do

12. Purchase organic food (5%) 17% to do

*Findings based on a Leger Omnibus Survey Results -- April 2013, based on interviews with 1,502 Canadians