Approximately 40% of Aussie women have been professionally diagnosed with depression or anxiety, according to findings from the Jean Hailes Women’s Health 2017 survey.
Their study of over 10,000 Australian women found that the younger generation were most vulnerable, with 18 to 35 year old the most anxious age group of women in the country.
Further, nearly half of women reported that on several days they “worry excessively about different things”.
Survey director, Dr Helen Brown, told AAP that the findings raised significant concerns around the mental health of young Aussie women and that social media plays a troubling role.
“I think they put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves to be ‘ever-ready’, to be on Instagram et cetera, which means they constantly have their phone in their hand and being ready for it,” Brown said.
The study highlighted the need for better support among women for the prevention and management of depression and anxiety.
It also found that a significant number of women weren’t achieving the recommended amount of physical activity. At least 60% of respondents said they are not taking part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week, with tiredness and lack of time named as the biggest barriers to working out.
Dr Helen Brown told AAP that being active doesn’t only involve hitting the gym or running 10km.
“Physical activity’s not about that – it’s just making sure you’re active throughout the day, like using the stairs instead of the lift,” Brown said.