According to new research from Mintel, only one in six Brits (15%) consider themselves as being either somewhat or very unhealthy, with 50% of the nation describing their general health as either very or somewhat healthy.
In its Healthy Lifestyles UK report, the market intelligence agency found that the health of the nation actually shifted between 2014 and 2015. In August 2015, just over a third (36%) of consumers in the UK said they were somewhat healthy, down from 42% in April 2014. However, the proportion of consumers citing themselves as very healthy rose from 11% to 14% in the same time period.
The market intelligence agency found that one in 20 (6%) Brits say they are strict with themselves to ensure they are as healthy as possible, 46% say they follow healthy habits most of the time, and a third (33%) go through phases of being healthy then falling into bad habits.
Out of the 14% of respondents who said that they don’t put much effort or thought into staying healthy, there was a gender divide, with just one in ten (10%) women agreeing with this statement compared with one in five men (19%).
When it comes to what drives healthy lifestyles, the top reason women said is the most likely reason to prompt them to make changes to their current lifestyles is wanting to improve their appearance (54%), followed by feeling generally unfit (53%) and after advice from a GP or health professional (43%).
In comparison, men cite wanting to improve their appearance as the fourth reason that would prompt them to change their lifestyle (36%), behind feeling generally unfit (43%), after advice from GP or other health professional (41%) and serious illness (38%).
However, while the top three habits considered important for staying healthy are the same for both genders – with getting regular exercise (64%), limiting or not smoking (61%) and eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day (54%) topping the charts – it seems many don’t take there own advice. Just 47% said they actually got regular exercise over a year, whilst 52% limited or did not smoke, and 43% said they ate their five a day.