Toronto, 27.09.2017

To maintain physical health, Canadians spend time with family, friends, pets

One in three now include “technology breaks” in their health routines

For Canadians, it seems that togetherness is the best way to stay healthy.

According to a recent GfK study in 17 countries, two-thirds (68%) of Canadians value “spending time with family, friends or pets” as something they do regularly to maintain physical health. This makes it the #1 choice for Canadians among 10 activities mentioned in the survey. 

In fact, Canada is tied for 3rd when it comes to citing family, friend, and pet time as a regular health activity, scoring well above the global average of 62%. Only Mexico, Spain, and Argentina ranked higher.
Other health-related activities cited by more than half of Canadians were “eat healthy nutritious foods” (65%), “get enough sleep” (63%), and “exercise” (59%).

While many of the most-cited activities in Canada actually decreased compared to 2014 levels, a number of others did increase – such as “take a break from technology” (mentioned by 32%, compared to 30% in 2014); “follow a specific diet” (cited by 19%, versus 14% in 2014); and “use herbal/holistic or other alternative remedies/therapies” (19%, versus 13% in 2014).

GfK’s research indicates that, across the 17 countries measured, “quality time” has taken a step forward in people’s perception of what keeps them physically healthy. “Taking a break from technology” has increased from one in four (24%) people in 2014 to one in three people (34%) this year – the second largest increase across all the activities listed.

Eating the right food is also getting notably more attention than in the past. “Following a specific diet” climbed from 18% globally in 2014 to 30% this year – the biggest increase among all the activities listed. And “eating healthy nutritious food” is now mentioned by 65% of respondents, compared to 58% in 2014.

Download GfK’s complimentary report on “activities to maintain physical health” to see specific data for each of the 17 countries included in this survey, showing key demographics.

GfK combines these self-reported insights with data from areas such as point of sales tracking, consumer panels and geo-marketing to help clients successfully target high-potential audiences both globally and within specific countries.

About the study

GfK asked 23,000 consumers (aged 15 or over) online in 17 countries to indicate which activities from a given list they do regularly to maintain their physical health.
Fieldwork was completed in summer 2017. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. The global average given in this release is weighted, based on the size of each country proportional to the other countries.
In 2014 GfK interviewed more than 21,000 consumers in 16 countries (excluding the Netherlands). Countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

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