Canadians not checking in for check-ups: RBC Insurance

Almost half would rather scrub the tub than go for a physical

TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2007 – Half (51 per cent) of all adult Canadians do not go for regular medical examinations but of those who do, women are by far more likely than men to check in for a check-up. This is according to an RBC Insurance/Ipsos-Reid survey that shows 59 per cent of women regularly go for complete physicals, compared to 39 per cent of men.

The RBC Insurance survey confirms 73 per cent of adult Canadian women and 59 per cent of Canadian men have had a physical in the last two years. However, one in five men (22 per cent) have not been for a check-up in at least five years and one in 10 claims to have never had one at all.

“It is alarming that so many Canadians are neglecting their health by foregoing general physicals,” says John Young, president and CEO, RBC Life Insurance Company. “Regular check-ups are essential for everyone. Maintaining health and fitness also means screening for potential illnesses, particularly the ones that can be treated successfully when caught early.”

The RBC Insurance survey further indicates many Canadians would prefer to avoid physicals altogether. In fact, almost half would rather tackle tedious household chores such as cleaning their bathrooms (48 per cent) or closets (46 per cent) rather than going for a physical. Even preparing income tax returns (32 per cent) or going without the Internet/e-mail (29 per cent) for a week is preferable to a medical check-up.

Heeding the advice of one’s doctor should make good sense, but even the results of a physical may not be enough to make some Canadians take better care of their health. The survey shows 42 per cent of Canadians who have been for a check-up in the last five years were told to make lifestyle changes. Although 77 per cent of those instructed to change their lifestyle did so, almost one-quarter (23 per cent) chose to ignore doctor’s orders regarding eating, exercise, or smoking.

RBC Insurance is also encouraging Canadians to include medical check-ups, along with healthy eating and exercise, as part of a regular health maintenance plan. “Taking care of your health should be top of mind for everyone, although many don’t consider regular check-ups until it’s too late,” adds Young. “It’s similar to insurance in that respect. By taking initial action, you can help yourself and your family if something comes up in the future.”

For information about life, critical illness, and long-term care insurance, visit, or a local RBC Insurance branch, or call 1-800-991-0707.

About this survey:
These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted through Ipsos Reid’s telephone omnibus, August 28 to August 30 and September 6 to September 9, 2007. The poll was based on a randomly selected sample of 2,002 adult Canadians who were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-2.19 percentage points, 95 times out of 100, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

About RBC Insurance:
RBC Insurance, through its operating entities, including RBC Life Insurance Company, provides a wide range of health, life, creditor, travel, home, auto, and reinsurance products to more than five million North American clients. As a leading provider of individual living benefits and life insurance products in Canada, RBC Life Insurance Company offers a comprehensive portfolio of individual and group life and health insurance solutions, including term and universal life insurance, group benefits, disability, critical illness, and long term care insurance as well as segregated funds. These products are distributed through more than 17,000 independent brokers affiliated with producer groups, financial planning firms and stock brokerage firms, as well as through direct sales and a network of career sales representatives. For more information, visit