Despite 73 per cent of respondents exercising outdoors once or more a week and 93 per cent not smoking, the majority of us can see room for improvement in our health.
Check the menu
While 95 per cent of respondents regularly add vegetables to their plate, most fail to meet the government’s recommended daily intake of five serves.
A Harvard study that followed the dietary habits of 110,000 people over 14 years found that the higher the average daily intake of fruits andvegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, those who averaged eight or more serves a day were 30 per cent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who ate fewer than 1.5 serves a day.
Nearly half of us need to increase the amount of oily fish in our diet too, with 45.7 per cent of respondents only eating the Omega-3-rich food “once in a while” or “not at all”. The Australian Heart Foundation recommends eating two to three serves of oily fish, such as salmon, trevalla, mackerel or gemfish, a week.
A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help support brain function by improving memory, as well as lowering the triglycerides that in turn can help prevent heart disease. It doesn’t stop there; several studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids may help protect adult eyes from macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.
We’re better at wearing sunglasses than slip, slop, slapping. The OPSM study found that while 79 per cent of respondents wear sunglasses even when there is a little bit of sun, only 39 per cent protect themselves with sunscreen.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that a high percentage of Australians shield their eyes from the damaging sun, when 87 per cent of us rate eyesight as the sense that is most important to us.
Macular degeneration and blindness is the most concerning health issue for 22 per cent of Australians, making it a greater worry than osteoporosis or diabetes, according to the OPSM survey.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your eye health. Follow these simple steps to help protect from macular degeneration.