AXA Canada

AXA Canada

March 22, 2006 09:52 ET

Retired Canadians Are Among the World's Healthiest, Stress and Pollution are Seen as the Greatest Threats to Canadians' Health

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2006) - Retired Canadians are among the healthiest retirees in the world according to the AXA Retirement Scope. The findings of this international survey on retirement reveal that 80% of retired Canadians view themselves as "very healthy" or "rather healthy." Specifically, 44% claim to be "very healthy." This result, far higher than the average (22%) for the other ten countries that took part in the survey, places retired Canadians in first place worldwide in this category.

"Our study showed that retired Canadians were in excellent health compared with their counterparts in the world's other leading countries, largely due to their good exercise and eating habits," said Lise Allard, Manager, Communication, at AXA Canada. "Given the aging of the population in coming years, the sound health of Canadians will be a decisive factor in maintaining the cost of public and private medical insurance plans at a reasonable level."

Healthy habits account for retired Canadians' excellent heath
One of the main reasons for Canada's strong results is the high proportion of retirees who engage in physical activity. Like their counterparts in Hong Kong, retired Canadians are among the most physically active in the world (71%), just behind the Germans (73%). In comparison, retirees in other countries, such as Belgium (52%), Spain (39%) and Italy (36%), are much less active.

Another factor contributing to the health of retired Canadians is their good eating habits. Some 56% of retired Canadians say they are careful about their diet, as opposed to 53% of working Canadians. Retired people in some other countries, such as Italy (28%), France (24%) and Belgium (23%), pay little attention to their diet.

Baby boomers: a cause for concern

Despite Canada's strong overall results, the survey turned up some worrying statistics about working Canadians age 45 and over-the baby boomers-who appear to be less concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

For example, only 66% of baby boomers said they played sports or exercised to stay healthy, compared with 81% of 25-to-44 year olds and 71% of retirees. Moreover, only 45% of baby boomers eat a healthy diet, compared with 56% for all other working and retired Canadians.

The main threats to health: stress and pollution

Working Canadians feel that stress (88%) and pollution (84%) are the greatest threats to their health. Even after they retire, a significant majority of Canadians views stress as the main health threat (71%) after pollution (80%). The other main health threats named by working and retired Canadians are smoking (66%), fast food and industrialized food (66%) and alcohol (49%).

AXA Retirement Scope

AXA Retirement Scope is an international survey designed to explore and understand people's attitudes toward retirement and to compare the image of retirement with the reality. The survey, whose sample included 6,915 working and retired people in 11 countries, was conducted between July 14 and August 21, 2005, by a consortium of polling firms headed by GfK Group and represented in Canada by CROP. The following countries were involved: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About AXA Canada

Present throughout Canada, AXA Canada offers a broad range of Property/Casualty and Life Insurance products and financial services to its clients through its 4,000 brokers and advisors. In 2005, AXA had revenues of C$1.4 billion and net earnings of C$132.2 million. AXA Canada is a member of the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection, whose business is concentrated in the North American, Western European and Asia/Pacific markets.

For the complete survey results, please visit the www.axa.ca website.

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