Global competition has each country comparing and contrasting strength and weaknesses, but when it comes to health, some flourish while others plummet. An international poll conducted by research market group GfK, asked more than 28,000 people in 23 different countries what their daily habits were. Questions ranged from the types of physical activities each country’s natives participated in, to their sleep habits, and how they maintain their health from day to day.

Countries Ranked
Health measurements Photo courtesy of GfK

The poll was administered through online or face-to-face interviews. The countries included don’t represent the third-world countries that share a different reality than the ones depicted in this account. The following were polled: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, and the USA.

USA Ranked
Measurements of health. Photo courtesy of GfK

Sleep, diet, and exercise are considered the three pillars of health. While nutrition and exercise are widely recognized as biological necessities, less is known about sleep. Humans spend typically a third of their lives asleep, yet it is often misunderstood and neglected. Balance is key to maintain a healthy, strong foundation, and if one pillar crumbles to ignorance or misguidance, it comes at a terrible cost on both individual and societal levels.

In addition to the three pillars, GfK also recorded 54 percent of the world has a healthy oral care routine, and 38 percent of people use skin, beauty, or personal grooming products throughout the world. Only 22 percent of the world claims to taking a break by unplugging or disconnecting themselves from the world, while only 17 percent report practicing meditation or using other relaxation techniques.

Countries Ranked
Health Measuremeants Photo courtesy of GfK

Pillars of the World Ranked:


It turns out two-thirds of the world are regularly tucked in for a quality night’s sleep of seven to eight hours. The country with the best sleep habits was Indonesia; 85 percent of its citizens got enough sleep each night. In second place came 77 percent of India’s population, and in third place was China, with 73 percent of its entire country catching enough z’s — which is impressive, considering it’s the most populated country in the world. Only half of all Russians get enough sleep to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The United States ranks at 62 percent, which is in at least the top third.


On average, only 59 percent of people throughout the world reported eating enough healthy and nutritious food, and most of them were women. India and Indonesia reported 79 and 74 percent of their citizens ate healthily enough to maintain physical well-being. When it comes to eating healthy, Japan reports only 29 percent of its country has a diet strong enough to maintain a physical well-being. Americans' diets are well maintained for the msot part, with 61 percent reporting a healthy food habit.


When it comes to exercise, an average of 57 percent of the world reported maintaining a healthy amount of physical activity each day. Mexico was at the top of the list with 68 percent, followed closely behind with China at 67 percent, and Canada and Australia tying for third with 61 percent each. Japan also falls in last place for the country that gets enough exercise, with only 39 percent of its citizens reporting exercise. As far as exercise goes, The U.S. ranks on the higher end, with 60 percent of its citizens exercising on a daily basis, meeting health requirements.