Singaporeans are living longer but not necessarily healthier, and that has implications for the state and economy. There are ways, however, for policymakers to incentivise good health.

SINGAPORE (July 29): For those born in Singapore, good news — the average life expectancy in the Lion City has increased from 76.1 years in 1990 to 84.8 years in 2017. That works out to an additional 8.7 years alive. The not-so-good news: More than a decade of that extended lifespan is likely to be spent in poor health, no thanks to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, musculoskeletal disorders and mental conditions.

A lengthy period of poor health affects more than an individual’s quality of life; the state and broader society bears the consequences of the individual’s lessened contributions to the economy and society, and the cost of healthcare. It is in everyone’s interest to be as healthy as possible, but how can they do so?

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