Jean Hailes for Women’s Health surveyed more than 15,000 women across Australia this year to find out their greatest health concerns, habits and needs. The result is a deep insight into the wellbeing of women across the country as they juggle busy lives with work, home and family demands and the increasing pressures of the digital world.

The Jean Hailes Women’s Health Survey 2018, launched on Saturday 1 September, reveals that almost half of women surveyed had been diagnosed with depression or anxiety by a doctor or psychologist. And two-thirds of women reported feeling nervous, anxious or on edge nearly every day or on more than seven days in the last four weeks.

Head of Education and Knowledge Exchange at Jean Hailes for Women’s Health Chris Enright says anecdotally, she hears more and more about the “sandwich generation” of women, who juggle busy careers with kids and ageing parents. “Our survey reflects that women worry about their health, particularly their weight, and getting enough time to themselves just to unwind, and 9.5 per cent of women drink alcohol every day,” said Chris.

“These findings help us to understand the behaviours of women in relation to their health, and importantly, how we can help them to lead healthy lifestyles. What we also found interesting is that half of survey respondents describe themselves as overweight or obese yet 70 per cent of women say they do at least two hours of moderate physical activity every week. Many women are trying to stay strong and healthy but almost a third of women who responded to our survey said they wanted to know more about healthy eating and nutrition.”

There is also good news in the results. “Hardly any of the 15,000 women that we surveyed are regular smokers—90 per cent hadn’t smoked in the past year. And half of women describe their health as very good or excellent,” says Chris. “At Jean Hailes, we are big believers in being proactive to maintain optimal health.” Get to know your own body and what’s ‘normal’ for you. Talk to your GP about any abnormal changes and ensure you get regular check-ups.”

Women’s Health Week runs Monday 3 to Friday 7 September, where more than 100,000 people across the country have registered to attend an event or subscribed to receive news throughout the week.

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