- Expats in Thailand are actively taking control of their physical health while they struggle with their mental health
- 77% of expats in Thailand admit that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their mental health
- Three quarters of expats in Thailand (77%) would rather live in their home country during the coronavirus pandemic
The data has been revealed in the Expat Experiences Survey 2020, published by international health benefits provider, Aetna International. The report, which surveyed 1,000 expats in the UK, the U.S., China, Thailand, Singapore and the UAE, explores the what impact the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had on expat health and wellbeing – addressing both mental and physical health.
Regionally, expats in Thailand appear to be living the most healthy lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact:
- The highest percentage of expats who are eating more healthily during the Covid-19 pandemic live in Thailand (80%), which is higher than the national average of 59.9%
- The highest percentage of expats who are exercising more during the Covid-19 pandemic live in Thailand (57%) which is higher than the national average of 43.4%
- Expats in Thailand are the least likely to drink more alcohol (9%) which is lower than that national average of 18.2%
The impact of Covid-19 on mental health
While many expats in Thailand are taking positive steps in improving their physical health during the Covid-19 pandemic, many are struggling with their mental health. In fact:
- Thailand shows the largest percentage of people (77%) who feel that their mental health has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic despite only half (54.%) of expats in Thailand suffering from mental health issues
- This figure is also higher than the national average of 63.6%
Furthermore, Thailand shows the largest percentage of people (29%) who feel that their mental health has been seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is much higher than the national average of 16.9%.
Expat attitudes and opinions during Covid-19
Globally, more than half of expats (56.3%) would rather live in their home country during the coronavirus pandemic.
The regional analysis reveals that the highest percentage of expats who would rather live in their home country currently live in Thailand, at 71%.
A wider look
While expats in Thailand are taking the lead in terms of pursuing healthier lifestyles and dietary habits, expats across the globe are also actively taking control of their physical health amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. In fact:
- 59.9% are eating more healthily during the Covid-19 pandemic
- 43.4% of expats are exercising more during the crisis
- 37.1% of expats don’t drink alcohol, while 27.8% are drinking less alcohol
While most expats have adjusted their lifestyles and dietary habits for the better, the same cannot be said for every country. For example:
- Expats in the U.S. and the UK are most likely to drink more alcohol during the pandemic (26% and 24.4%)
- The lowest percentage of expats who are eating more healthily live in the UK (48.8%)
- The lowest percentage of expats who are exercising more live in Singapore (30.7%)
Dr Hemal Desai, Global Medical Director, Aetna International says:
“As a large number of expats across the globe are actively pursuing healthier lives during the Covid-19 crisis, it shows that people understand the importance of achieving good health and well-being, especially during this difficult time. While most expats are leading healthier lifestyles and dietary habits, we must acknowledge some expats have struggled to pursue healthier options with about 1 in 5 eating less healthily or consuming more alcohol. In addition, over 60% of expats have admitted an impact on their mental health which is important to address.
“This is why it’s essential for expats and the globally mobile to have convenient access to virtual or digital health support – from digital counselling to self-help apps. Taking care of both your physical and mental health is critical which is why health and well-being support systems are so vital during these difficult times.”
The full report can be seen here: https://www.
About Aetna International
Aetna International is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health care benefits and population health solutions worldwide. One of the largest providers of international private medical insurance, Aetna International serves more than 800,000 members worldwide, including expatriates, local nationals and business travellers. Its global benefits include medical, dental, vision and emergency assistance and, in some regions, life and disability.
Aetna International also offers customised technological and health management solutions for health care systems, government entities and large employers to improve people’s health, enhance quality of care and contain costs. Aetna International is a subsidiary of Aetna, a CVS Health company, which serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. For more information, see www.aetnainternational.com