Hong Kong ranked last out of 15 places in a recent wellbeing survey of the Asia-Pacific region. It found local residents sleep for just 6.5 hours each night and spend 3.7 hours online for non-work purposes, on average.
The survey polled more than 10,000 adults in the region, and found the city scored lower than the mainland and Macau, which placed first and second respectively. Singapore placed 11th in the survey.
The healthy living index looked at people’s satisfaction with their health and how healthy their behaviour was. Hongkongers’ non-work web browsing average was higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 3 hours daily.
The survey also found Hongkongers were sleep-deprived. Although local respondents said they wanted to sleep eight hours daily, they said they got an average of 6.5 hours of actual sleep. The 1.5-hour gap was the highest among the 15 places. In comparison, residents of India and mainlanders only had a sleep deficit of half an hour.
In an additional poll of 30 Hongkongers aged 15 to 20 this week, Young Post found that compared to local adults, young people also had 6.6 hours of actual sleep but they spent more time online with an average of 4.7 hours a day.
Hong Kong Baptist University student Jessie Pang, 20, said she spent an average of four hours reading news and using social media, while Dheeraj Vasandani from King George V School surfed online for seven hours a day
PLK Ngan Po Ling College student Mithisha Rajesh Ramchandani, 18, said she only managed to get five hours sleep each night due to heavy school workload. She admitted that sleep deprivation made it difficult to be punctual and stay awake in class.
Thomas Isaac, of Intuit Research, who conducted the Asia-Pacific survey, said the poll did not look specifically into why people in Hong Kong spent so much time on the web but he believed it was down to people using social media. “The more time people spend on the internet, the less time they can spend on other things,” Isaac said. “Sleep and exercise time get affected.” He added that the research had not looked into whether there was a link between people’s incomes and their health habits.
When a similar survey was done in 2013, Hong Kong ranked 13th. “The fact that Hong Kong has not moved and its score has stayed stagnant shows there have really been no significant improvements in Hong Kong, either in behaviour or health satisfaction,” Isaac said.
Separately, the survey found just 29 per cent of Hong Kong respondents had a medical check-up in the past year, compared with the regional average of 52 per cent.
The city’s stress level was also high, scoring 6.7 on a scale of one to 10, compared to the regional average of 6.2.