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Brits Vow to Focus on Improving Their Long-Term Health in 2021

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30 million British people are taking on at least one health-related New Year’s Resolution this January to “do their bit” for their health, their community and the NHS, according to new research from Simplyhealth, one of the UK’s leading healthcare plan providers.

  • 3 in 5 (61%) Brits say COVID-19 impacted their 2021 New Year Resolutions
  • 1 in 5 (19%) admit the wider societal/financial impact of the pandemic has encouraged them to take better care of their health/lifestyle
  • 1 in 4 (23%) Brits made health and lifestyle resolutions for 2021 to benefit their families
  • 2 in 5 (43%) say they would be more likely to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions if a charity or cause also benefits.

2020 has had a major impact on people’s attitudes to their health, with 1 in 5 (19%) Brits admitting the wider societal/financial impact of the pandemic has encouraged them to take better care of their health/lifestyle. Further, 3 in 5 (61%) state COVID-19 has impacted their 2021 New Year Resolutions.

Almost 2 in 3 (63%) Brits say they will focus on setting realistic and attainable goals to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions in 2021. This is key to maintaining their good intentions as in 2020, 71% of people who made New Year’s Resolutions failed to stick to them. Two fifths (38%) of Brits had already given up on their 2020 New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January – and a further 32% by the end of March.

2021: A New Year’s health revolution 

2021 will hopefully see a big improvement in people’s attitudes to their health after a tough year. 2 in 5 (44%) Brits plan to take on at least one New Year’s Resolution for 2021; half of the people planning a New Year’s Resolution (17 million people or 50%), want to take action to improve their long-term health, and almost 1 in 4 (23%) Brits made health resolutions for 2021 to benefit their families.

Health and fitness resolutions remain popular for 2021 – 47% of those planning a New Year’s Resolution for 2021 want to lose weight, 46% want to improve their fitness and 28% want to improve their diet.

Simplyhealth has recognised that people want to take control of their health and launched their free, SimplyMe health and wellbeing app in October 2020, which helps users to make small, easy changes to improve physical and emotional health, and build lifelong healthy habits.

The app’s dashboard analyses health across five categories: mind, heart, sleep, weight and activity, giving personalised insights and guidance.

Commenting on Simplyhealth’s research findings, Jo Hemmings, behavioural psychologist said:

“Events over the past year have changed our psychological mindsets and in the face of unprecedented challenges, we have broadened our perspectives. Many of us are much less inward looking now than we were 12 months ago and this has impacted our personal goals. As a result, our 2021 resolutions have been more focused on what we can do for others, rather than just what we can do for ourselves.

“By focusing on our long-term health, we become more resilient and more prepared should we ever have to face such a health crisis again. Keeping a healthy fitness level not only releases mood boosting endorphins into our brains, but it also helps us regulate the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which have been raging through our bodies for the best part of a year. Keeping fit and healthy, not only boosts our immune systems, but means that we are mentally better equipped to help others – from individuals to the NHS as a whole.”

 Romana Abdin, Chief Executive at Simplyhealth, said:

“2020 reinvented our relationship with our personal health, our communities and the NHS.  As a result, 2021 is shaping up to be a year like no other. It is a unique chance to make real and lasting changes to our health and wellbeing, for the benefit of all.

“Our founding belief, nearly 150 years ago, was that good health is for everyone. It’s why we launched our free health and wellbeing app, SimplyMe in 2020 to help people take control of their everyday health.

“We believe this year will see a shift in attitudes and behaviours, centred on our human desire to help people. Our data indicates that making “promises” to others, instead of “resolutions” which are focused on ourselves, is our best chance at sticking to new behaviours that improve our wellbeing.”

SimplyMe – harnessing the power of community spirit to encourage people to take control of their health

3 in 4 (75%) believe it is now more important than ever to support local communities and charities. In addition, 2 in 5 (43%) polled said they would be more likely to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions if a charity or cause in their community also benefits.

Simplyhealth’s free-to-use health and wellbeing app, SimplyMe, encourages people to lead healthier lives and look after their mental health, while giving back to communities in need.

For every new sign up to the app throughout January 2021, Simplyhealth donates £5 to Sported, a national charity which supports almost 3,000 community sport and youth groups across the UK. This motivates SimplyMe users to look after themselves by simultaneously helping others too.

By ‘checking in’ on your mood 10 times from your home screen in January 2021, Simplyhealth will add another £5, a total of £10 for Sported, per new user2.

To find out more about SimplyMe, visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk/simplyme or download the SimplyMe app via the App Store or Google Play Store.