Posted on Jan 29, 2024, 2 p.m.
Let’s face it, visiting their doctor isn’t something that most people look forward to. Getting a child to go without a struggle is hard enough but when they become teenagers it is even harder, and this trend typically continues into adulthood. Not surprisingly, according to a random double opt-in survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bupa involving 5000 general population adults living in the United Kingdom, most people don’t start taking their well-being seriously until their 30s, and most often only after having some sort of health scare.
The analysis revealed that when people start experiencing new aches or pains, gaining/losing a lot of weight, reaching a milestone birthday, reflecting on the sudden loss of a loved one, or experiencing a health issue are other triggers that tend to get people thinking more seriously about taking better care of themselves. The analysis also found that 21% of the respondents are unsatisfied with their current state of physical health and 32% are not happy with their level of physical fitness.
A small portion of the respondents, 1 in 30 (3.33%) also said that when a famous person is suffering from a medical condition the news surprises them, and makes them take their health more seriously. For example, following King Charles announcing that he is undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate, the UK National Health Service’s website received 11 times more visits than the previous day, with one person visiting the site every five seconds to view the webpage information regarding the condition.
“It can be very easy to disregard your health – particularly when you are young or you feel that everything is OK,” says Dr. Elizabeth Rogers, the associate clinical director at UK’s Bupa Health Clinics. “No one wants to think that there might be something wrong, but often the early signs of an issue are not obvious. Sometimes it can take a bit of a wake-up call before you start taking your health more seriously, whether that is falling ill yourself or seeing a loved one or even a well-known person experience an issue.”
11% of the respondents admitted that they don’t take their health very seriously, 45% reported that they didn’t pay attention to their health when they were younger because they felt fine, 36% said that because they were young they felt like they didn’t need to worry about their health, and 25% believed that nothing bad would happen to them.
Looking back 84% of the respondents feel that they took their health for granted when they were younger, with 39% in hindsight regret not taking better care of themselves before reaching their mid-twenties. For instance, 38% said that they had a poor diet in their younger years, 30% reported that they drank far too much alcohol, and 28% felt that they didn’t take adequate steps to keep their stress levels under control.
30% of the respondents admit that they have been asked by someone else to take better care of their health, with 39% of the respondents reporting that their partner expressed concerns, 33% said that a parent naked them, and 30% said that a medical professional has a conversation with them about taking their health more seriously. Some of the respondents have taken these suggestions into consideration with 45% of the respondents now trying to get enough sleep, 43% are drinking more water, and 34% are taking steps to manage their stress to look after their health.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to health, and making even small changes to your exercise regime or diet can make a real difference to both your physical and mental health, as well as helping to prevent future conditions developing,” Dr. Rogers adds. “We designed our Bupa health assessments to give people a clear picture of their health and wellbeing, with personalised metrics to manage their own health – not only flagging potential risks, but setting out clear and realistic goals to make improvements to their overall health.”
TOP 25 REASONS TO TAKE YOUR HEALTH SERIOUSLY (FROM THIS POLL):
- Starting to have aches and pains you've never had before
- Feeling physically unfit
- Having a health scare
- Not losing weight as easily as you used to
- Reaching a milestone birthday
- Gaining a lot of weight
- A family member/friend/partner passing away
- Suffering with a mental health issue
- Someone you know having a health scare
- Falling ill more frequently than you used to
- A relative having a health scare
- Becoming a parent
- Taking longer to recover from playing sports or doing exercise
- Having a stressful time at work, and wanting to make sure other areas of your life are health
- Someone you know dying suddenly
- Wanting to be an active parent
- A friend having a health issue/scare
- Getting the feeling that you are catching every bug or illness going around
- Your parents falling ill
- No longer getting away with not stretching or warming up properly before exercise
- Reaching the same age as a parent/grandparent who suffered with a health condition
- Losing a lot of weight
- A loved one asking you to take better care of your health
- Reaching the same age as your parents were when they had you
- A celebrity or well-known person having a health issue/scare, or passing away suddenly
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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