New research from Vitality shows people are now living longer in poor health with a decreasing "healthspan".
According to its research, Vitality found that people are living a greater proportion of their lives in ill health than they were 30 years ago, spending an average of 12 years in ill health, 14% longer than in 1990.
This rises of 15% on a global level, relating to 8.5-9.6 years spent in ill health which equates to approximately 18% of the average lifespan.
Our global network of leading insurers has a unique opportunity to monetise and incentivise better future health and, given global trends, I believe we have a responsibility to act."
The research found that people are now spending larger proportions of their lives in ill health due to an increase in chronic conditions and lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and mental health while certain risk factors like BMI are increasing at younger ages.
It also highlighted that the increase can be attributed to "population health strategies that prioritise treatment over prevention, and greater sophistication of healthcare treatments and technologies that have enabled people to live for longer with disease."
In conjunction with not-for-profit research institute RAND Europe, Vitality has created an algorithm designed to provide individuals with a personalised view of their lifespan and healthspan (the number of years spent in good health), as well as bespoke recommendations for improving these measures.
The recommendations consider the individual's age, gender, health status, and current lifestyle choices to ensure that the prescribed actions are suitable and will have the greatest possible impact on health.
Vitality sated the model shows that even modest behaviour change can materially reduce health risk over time, providing an example of an average 30-year-old man who could increase his healthspan by 1.5 years by introducing 20 minutes of vigorous exercise a day.
Adrian Gore, Discovery and Global Vitality chief executive, commented: "Incentivising positive lifestyle changes in a world forever changed by the global pandemic can have a profound impact on the health of individuals and reduce the burden on health services.
"Our global network of leading insurers has a unique opportunity to monetise and incentivise better future health and, given global trends, I believe we have a responsibility to act. Over the last 30 years, scientific change has driven increases in lifespan.
"Improving healthspan globally will require a greater focus on behaviour change - with benefits for individuals, the economy and society."