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Sick of being sick? 75% of Australians are avoiding germs this winter

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Australians are going to great lengths to avoid getting sick, according to new research by Finder.

A new nationally representative survey of 1,010 respondents revealed three-quarters of Aussies (75%) have adopted new hygiene practices to prevent themselves from falling ill.

The research found more than 1 in 5 (22%) have avoided going to a bar or pub to steer clear of germs, while 19% have passed up an invitation to go to a cafe or restaurant.

As the new Omicron variant spreads rapidly, 1 in 6 (16%) have given the gym a miss in a bid to keep away from possible illness.

Tim Bennett, health insurance expert at Finder, said Australians are more aware of their health than ever before.

"People's lives have been hugely disrupted by the pandemic – financially as well as socially – and many people's goal is to avoid illness this winter at all costs."

The data shows 1 in 10 (10%) have cancelled or changed their travel plans to not get sick, while 9% have refused to go into the office.

More than half (54%) have admitted to having received the flu vaccine, while 26% said they've had their fourth COVID booster.

Bennett said signing up for private health insurance was a key way Aussies could take care of their health.

"Private health cover won't prevent you from getting sick but will ensure you will be treated quickly and by the doctor of your choice if you do need to go to hospital.

"The new financial year is a good time to review your policy and make sure you're getting the best deal," Bennett said.

Have you done/are you doing any of the following this winter in order to avoid getting sick?
Received flu vaccine54%
Received fourth (or more) Covid vaccine26%
Avoiding bars/pubs22%
Avoiding cafes/restaurants19%
Not going to the gym16%
Cancelled or changed travel plans10%
Not going into the office/workplace9%
Cancelled or changed an event (e.g. birthday, wedding)7%
I have not done any of these this winter25%
Source: Finder survey of 1,010 Australians, July 2022
*Respondents could select all that apply

Visit Finder's Health Insurance hub to compare across 30+ health insurance brands in Australia.

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