Half of people in Japan feel healthier due to improved lifestyle amid outbreak

Kyodo News

Posted at Sep 02 2020 04:34 PM

Residents take part in a dance exercise class at the municipal gymnasium in Amagasaki, Japan, on June 5, 2008. Japan, a country not known for its overweight people, has launched one of the most ambitious campaigns ever undertaken by a nation to slim down its citizenry. Ko Sasaki, The New York Times/File

TOKYO - Nearly half of people in Japan feel they are healthier now than before the spread of the novel coronavirus due to adopting improved lifestyles after the virus-induced curbs on going out, according to a private survey released Wednesday.

Of 5,640 respondents, a total of 48.1 percent said they now felt "healthier" or "slightly healthier" when asked about changes in their wellness during stay-at-home measures implemented following the coronavirus outbreak, an online poll by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. showed.

The result shows that many people have improved their lifestyles by changing their eating habits and getting more exercise, according to the survey.

The survey also found that only 2.8 percent said they had become "unhealthy," while those who felt there was no change accounted for 49.1 percent. The survey covered married men and women aged between 20 and 79 across the country and was conducted from Aug. 6 to 13.

Of all the respondents, 45.1 percent said they became more health-conscious due to initially putting on weight and other factors after people were asked by the government to stay home and refrain from nonessential outings.

Asked in a multiple-answer question on what they do to stay fit, 50.9 percent, accounting for the largest group, said they now pay more attention to their diet and nutrition, followed by 35.3 percent who cited exercise.

Those who said they try not to be stressed stood at 22.8 percent, while 6.0 percent said they have cut their alcohol intake