A public opinion poll on behalf of BMI Healthcare
Date Published: 27 Dec 2010
Categories: Business | Consumer | Health | Public and communities | UK
Healthier New Year Is a Priority after the Recession Hits Public Well-being
• Around Two thirds of British adults (65%) plan to improve their health in the New Year
• 48% with worsened health believe this is at least to some extent due to the recession or their financial situation
27 December 2010 - Health is set to be a key priority in 2011 as nearly two thirds of British adults (65%) are planning to take steps to improve their well-being in the New Year, according to research commissioned by BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest independent provider of private healthcare.
The proposed lifestyle changes come after many people admitted that the recent financial downturn or their financial situation had affected their overall health. One in three (33%) people say their health has got worse during the past two years, and almost half (48%) of those believe that this is at least, to some extent, due to the recession or their personal financial situation.
Top of the public’s health related New Year’s resolutions are plans to exercise more, (75%), lose weight (68%) and have a healthier diet (53%).
The list of top health related resolutions are :
New Year’s resolution %
I plan to exercise more 75%
I plan to lose weight 68%
I plan to have a healthier diet 53%
I plan to lower my stress levels 34%
I plan to have a health check so I can get clinical advice on how to improve my health 19%
I plan to drink less alcohol 18%
I plan to give up smoking 14%
Unsurprisingly, women score higher than men with their resolutions to lose weight (71% of women vs. 64% of men) and have a healthier diet (55% of women vs. 50% of men) . However, men outdo women in their intentions to have a health check that will give them clinical advice on how to improve their health, almost a quarter of men (23%) surveyed stated such plans, compared to only 15% of women. There also seems to be a higher awareness among men of their need to reduce their alcohol intake, 22% of men say they plan to drink less alcohol, compared to only 14% of women who state such intentions.
Commenting on the results, Group Medical Director Prof Duncan Empey at BMI Healthcare, which has more than 70 hospitals across the UK, said: “It’s not surprising that, for people who feel their health has worsened over the last two years, a number attribute this decline to financial worries and the recession as stress can have a significant impact on our wellbeing. But, the New Year offers people a fresh start and it is therefore an ideal time to make plans for a healthier lifestyle.”
Surprisingly, the youngest respondents in the UK score highest of all the age groups surveyed on plans to lower their stress levels, 49% of 18-24 year-olds stated this intention. They are also more determined to exercise (83%) and have a healthier diet (68%). Their 25-34 year-old peers score highest on plans to give up smoking (23%) and to drink less alcohol (22%). The 35-44 year-olds stand out for having the least intentions to get a health check, with only 13% indicating such plans, while the 45-54 year-olds are among the lowest scoring on the resolution to have a healthier diet (47%). People in the age category 55-64 year-olds show the greatest determination of all ages to lose weight, with 77% admitting such plans, while the over-65s score highest on plans to have a health check, with 24% stating this goal.
This year, BMI Healthcare is running a year-long “Inspect your Health!” campaign to encourage people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Over the next year, the hospital group will be dispatching teams of nurses who will offer free mini health checks to thousands of people in workplaces and community centres across the country. The checks will include tests for BMI (body mass index) and body fat percentage, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, which are four important indicators for some of Britain's most prevalent diseases. Nurses will be bringing these checks to people at their workplaces or local shopping centres, at no cost and with no need for an appointment. People interested in having an “Inspect Your Health!” event in their workplace or community can email [email protected] or call 0800 533 5085.