The Indigo Global Wellness Index, a new study published by LetterOne, placed South Africa last on a list of 151 countries in terms of health and happiness. The index looks at ten metrics; blood pressure, blood glucose, obesity, depression, happiness, alcohol use, tobacco use, exercise, healthy life expectancy, and government spending on healthcare. According to these metrics, South Africa performed poorly across the board and, by definition of the study, is deemed the most unhealthy country on earth. So, what can we do to change this?


  • Switch to canola. It’s naturally cholesterol free, high in Omega 3 and very low in saturated fat.
  • Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
  • Choose wholegrains like whole-wheat bread, pasta and oats.
  • Reduce your intake of red meat.
  • Include legumes (e.g. beans, lentils) and fish in your meals twice a week.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water or antioxidant rich rooibos tea.
  • Limit take-away foods, sweets and fizzy drinks.
  • Be responsible and cut back on your alcohol consumption.


  • Choose a form of exercise that you find enjoyable. In that way, you’ll be motivated to stick with it.
  • A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, 5 days a week, is recommended for overall good health.
  • Walking is an accessible and easy form of exercise. Try taking a brisk walk at lunchtime or after dinner.
  • If you’re more comfortable exercising at home, try some workout videos available online.
  • Try exercising with a friend.
  • If you have any pre-existing conditions, consult with your healthcare practitioner before you start any exercise program.


  • Smoking is BAD. Quit smoking.
  • Find healthy ways to destress e.g. reading, listening to music, taking up a hobby, spending time with a good friend.
  • Get a good night’s sleep every night. Quality sleep is crucial to good health for both children and adults.
  • Your emotional well-being is important. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, speak to a healthcare professional. You can also contact SADAG on 011 2344837.
  • If someone you know needs help overcoming addiction, use the Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline 0800 12 13 14 or SMS 32312


By improving your overall well-being, you can enjoy more energy, feeling happier and being healthier. Now, imagine how good that would feel if an entire nation was healthy together. Starting with a just a few smart choices, you can help create a revolution to #MakeSAHealthyAgain.