Australian & British COVID-19 Health Survey Reveals Alarming Inter-Generational Gaps between Good Practices, Level of Concern and Actual Risk for High-Risk Groups

SiSU Health Group, a world-leading Preventive Health Technology Company, today released the results of its “COVID-19 Needs, Health & Wellbeing Survey”.

The survey of 2,323 respondents in Australia and the UK has elicited several key insights, most notably in response to the question “What are your current concerns regarding your situation?” where only 27.6% of people aged 75+ were “worried about getting sick, or family getting sick” versus an average of 55% for age groups spanning 16-54 years of age.  This lack of concern was mirrored in the fact that 44% of 75yr + expressed “none of the above concerns” versus an average of just 12% of people aged 16-54 years of age.

The ten-question survey conducted in early April also asked if respondents had a pre-existing health condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma or if they were a smoker.  Again, the prevalence rates of high blood pressure and diabetes (both significant co-morbidities for COVID-19 risk) were highly skewed to those 65yr+.  These risk distributions align with Australian National Health Survey data, and data generated by more than 3.4 million Health checks undertaken on SiSU Health Stations, a Class IIa Medical Device which has been used by more than 1.4 million individuals in Australia and Europe.

In commenting on the gap between the low level of concern about becoming ill with COVID-19 and the actual risk posed by the virus, SiSU Health Founder, Noel Duncan (PhD) said, “It’s alarming that many people are not aware of the risk”.  Whilst there is a myriad of reasons why older Australians and Britons feel less concerned about contracting coronavirus, the undisputed fact is that their risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 is significantly higher than the rest of the general population.

The survey results also show a significant gap between hand hygiene and social distancing measures practised by younger members of the community versus older citizens. Younger respondents were less likely to report practising social distancing and regular handwashing “every day” in the previous week, than their older counterparts.

Dr Duncan said he wasn’t pointing a finger at older citizens for their lower level of concern but pointed out that a seemingly normal physical interaction between an elderly grandparent and their children or grandchildren who practised poorer hand hygiene and social distancing was a dangerous combination. 

Dr Duncan questioned whether existing methods of engagement and communication with higher risk groups in the population were being undertaken with the level of innovation and personalisation that is now possible and that can deliver a more effective impact.

“We are living in a digital age where personalisation is possible and we know these methods work – yet all I have seen so far are mass media campaigns on the TV, Radio, TXT, and social media and some maps using static data from Census and National Health Surveys of years past.”

In response, SiSU Health intends to activate immediately a “COVID-19 check-in” campaign with high-risk members and then continue this campaign and a follow-up survey during late April through to September 2020.

“We have a significant duty of care to our members to help them stay healthy and health informed.  It’s in the DNA of our business and why it exists.  This survey’s results affirm the need to communicate and engage people in a targeted, highly personal way and this is true now more than ever.”

“If we help to save just one of our members from a COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation or worse, then it’s been worth the effort and we’ve franked the value of the platform and our mission,” said Dr Duncan.

Dr Duncan also pointed to previous surveys done by SiSU Health which demonstrated the danger that health illiteracy poses. Nearly 87% of 67,000 people surveyed before having their blood pressure measured on the Health Station had not had it measured before, and almost 18% of those people then went on to record high blood pressure in the minutes thereafter.

“Never before have so many people been asked to practice preventive health.  Now is the time for the power and potential of scalable digital preventive health platforms to be utilised for the benefit of the whole population in Australia and Europe.

Key Statistics

  • Only 27.6% of respondents aged 75+ are concerned about getting sick or their family getting sick from COVID-19, compared to 55% of those aged under 55
  • Overall, 71% of respondents reported practising social distancing “every day” in the previous week.
  • 81.2% reported regular handwashing “every day” in the previous week.
  • 47.4% report exercising less frequently under self-isolation
  • 34.5% report poorer quality sleep
  • 19.7% report poorer nutritional quality of their meals

Online interactive survey insights

An interactive version SiSU Health’s COVID-19 Needs, Health & Wellness Survey can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF here:  SiSU Health COVID-19 Survey Analysis

About SiSU Health

SiSU Health Group (“SiSU Health”) is a world-leading preventive health technology company.

Our mission is to empower millions of people across the globe to “Own their Health” by providing them with free, accurate, evidence-based programs and services to Measure, Track and Improve their health throughout their lives

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, the company’s operating footprint now spans 3 continents and includes strategic partnerships across retail, corporate and healthcare channels.

SiSU Health’s vision is to create the world’s most trusted, loved, accessible and effective preventive health platform.

With a focus on access for all, evidence-based “health metrics that matter”, and quantifiable impact over time, SiSU Health is transforming the way population health and preventive health programs are undertaken.

The company’s multi-award winning platform includes the proprietary SiSU Health StationTM, an ISO 13485 Class IIa Medical Device on which more than 3.4 million Health Checks have been completed by more than 1.4 million individuals with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of +63 from more than one million responses.

Members of SiSU Health can also access an extensive range of evidence-based online health risk surveys, health improvement and behaviour change programs covering areas such as diet, exercise, sleep and mental health.   SiSU Health Members also maintain control rights over their data as per the principles and terms of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

SiSU Health’s extensive research and development pipeline include strategic partnerships with many leading Universities, membership of Australia’s Digital Health CRC as well as Government, Community and Peak Health Promotion bodies in multiple countries.

For corporate and workplace health, the SiSU Health platform has been used by 23 of the World’s Top 100 Companies as featured in Forbes’ Global 2000 Index 2018.

SiSU Health’s benchmarking pool of machine measured health checks across 25 industries exceeds 500,000 checks, the world’s largest.

“SiSU” is a Finnish word in origin and refers to the resilience and strength required to sustain change.


Press or Government enquiries:

Dr Noel Duncan

Email:  [email protected]

Mobile: (+61) 0481 162 295