TORONTO, December 1, 2011 Only 45 per cent of Canadians say that they regularly go to the doctor for complete physicals or checkups, down from 49 per cent in 2007, according to a recent poll for RBC Insurance, conducted by Ipsos Reid. Among Canadian regions, residents of Alberta ranked the highest at 52 per cent, while those in British Columbia (37 per cent) are the least likely to get regular physicals. Regional highlights for the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada are also available.
Although Canadian women are still more likely (49 per cent) than men (41 per cent) to go for regular physical checkups, the gap is slowly closing. The number of females visiting the doctor has dropped by 10 per cent since 2007, while visits by men have increased by two per cent.
"Women are generally more attentive to their health and more disciplined with respect to visiting the doctor," said Cathy Preston, vice-president, Life and Health, RBC Insurance. "The drop in the statistics may be attributable to women juggling much busier lives; however, the fact is that it's critical for all Canadians to see their doctor on a regular basis to screen for various medical conditions."
Both men (51 per cent) and women (41 per cent) surveyed say that they've been advised by their doctors to make lifestyle changes (such as eating better, exercising more and reducing or quitting smoking), an overall increase of four per cent since 2007. When it comes to taking their physician's advice, 67 per cent of respondents said that they did, down 10 per cent from 2007. Half (50 per cent) of the men surveyed said that the reason they didn't take their doctor's advice was because they didn't have the willpower to do so. This figure jumps to three-in-four for women (75 per cent).
"Making positive lifestyle changes will not only benefit your health, but may also keep your life insurance rates down," adds Preston. "For example losing weight and quitting smoking are two areas that life insurers may consider when reviewing applications for life insurance."
Although there is an upward trend among men to get regular check ups, 61 per cent of men would sooner go shopping with their partner than get a physical or check up. Almost a quarter of men (23 per cent) would rather clean their bathroom than head to the doctor.
RBC Insurance offers a wide range of life insurance products. For more information, go online to rbcinsurance.com, call 1-800-565-3129 or visit a local RBC Insurance retail branch.
These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted between October 20 - 25, 2011. The online survey of 2,282 Canadian adults (18+) was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of 2,282, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ± 2 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error within subgroups of the sample will be higher.
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