Medibank has released the findings of a new survey that reveals the significant majority (77 per cent) of parents prioritise their family’s health ahead of their own.
The survey of almost 1,800 people, including adults and children aged 10 to 17, found 76 per cent of parents ensure their children eat breakfast every day but only 1-in-2 (55 per cent) do so themselves.
While over three-quarters (76 per cent) of parents make sure their children are active every day only 16 per cent achieve this themselves.
In addition, while 74 per cent of parents believe they could personally be healthier overall, only 57 per cent feel this way about their children.
According to Medibank chief medical officer Dr Linda Swan, "Let’s face it, it’s not easy getting it right all the time but we know parents carry a significant influence in a child’s life, and kids are likely to go on to develop habits that reflect those of their parents. While as parents, it may feel natural to prioritise your family’s health, this data shows it’s important not to let your own health take a back seat."
The survey found almost four-in-five (78 per cent) parents admit their children have picked up their habits, both good and bad.
According to children, it is their ‘sweet tooth’ that has come out on top as the number one habit inherited from their parents (32 per cent), followed by excess screen time (29 per cent).
The third highest-ranking habit is a "shared love" for keeping active (24 per cent). Additionally, 48 per cent of children said they have learned the value of ‘me time’ from their parents.
Almost half of all children (45 per cent) said their parents should have more 'me time’ as the data shows that only 17 per cent practice self-care each day. Over half (53 per cent) of parents said they feel guilty for doing so despite 73 per cent admitting that, when they do, they are a better person to be around.
“It can be hard to find time for ourselves, in amongst family, work and social commitments. With these findings, we hope to demonstrate to all Australians that dedicating time to focus on your health - whether it’s for five minutes or five hours - can have a positive knock-on effect on those around us,” added Dr Swan.