Half of Jakarta professionals yet to live healthy: Survey

Fifty per cent of professionals in Jakarta say they do not live a healthy lifestyle, despite knowing that health could contribute to career advancement, a survey has revealed.

The 2015 Jakarta Professional Health Index surveyed 1,000 professionals between 25 and 45 years of age living in Greater Jakarta to find out about their lifestyle. The respondents, questioned through an online survey conducted by supplement producer Brand's, worked in a variety of fields and positions, ranging from assistant managers to directors.

"Ninety-six per cent of respondents were aware that good health could help their careers, but only half of them actually had healthy lifestyles. The most popular reasons were a lack of time and high stress due to workload and deadlines," Agus Setio Joewono, the vice president of Brand's producer, PT Cerebos Indonesia, told a press conference during the opening of Jakarta Health Week 2015 on Tuesday.

The survey showed that respondents had various understandings of the importance of breakfast. Female professionals tend to miss breakfast more often compared to their male counterparts, who tend to think they have a healthy breakfast every morning. Bread was the most popular breakfast item among respondents.

"The higher their positions, the more likely the respondents thought that they have been eating healthy breakfasts," Agus said.

The survey also showed that six in 10 respondents spent two to four hours per day on the road, quite significant considering that traffic, deadlines and workloads were among the factors that triggered stress for Jakarta's professionals. Up to 23.8 per cent of professionals - most of whom were women - admitted that they did not exercise at all.

"In addition to stress, a lack of motivation and commitment was another reason why they didn't have healthy lifestyles ," he said.

As a result of their unhealthy lifestyle, half of the respondents felt sleepy during work hours and often felt exhausted at work. University of Indonesia clinical nutrition specialist Inge Permadhi pointed out that a healthy lifestyle was not as demanding as most people thought.

"Eating healthy is all about eating what our bodies need, balancing the nutrition, processing it appropriately and eating it on time. The hustle and bustle of the urban city usually prevents professionals from eating healthy," she said.

Inge pointed out that a good balance of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and protein was what the body needed.

"For every 1,000 calories of intake, we need 14 grams of fiber" she pointed out, adding that "we need light snacks in between three main meals".

Inge also recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

"We can break it down into 30 minutes per day. It doesn't sound hard, does it? Walking for 30 minutes a day can be considered exercise," she said.

As for sleeping, Inge also recommended four to six hours of deep sleep per day for professionals. "If you only get four hours of sleep at night, you can pay it off by taking a nap for two hours during the day. But I don't recommend paying it off by sleeping all day on weekends, because it just doesn't work that way," she said.