UK staff want to prioritise health more than their career


More UK working adults said that they want to make health a top priority compared with prioritising their career, at 89% and 51% respectively, according to the Bupa Wellbeing index.

The survey, conducted among 8,000 UK adults, found that health and wellbeing is being achieved through cutting down on unhealthy foods (35%), walking or exercising more regularly (30%), getting more sleep (28%), and finding a better work-life balance (23%).

The research found that among those working from home more frequently, 19% were exercising less often due to the removal of the daily commute. It also highlighted that the physical (29%) and mental (34%) health of UK adults declined during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, exacerbated by lockdowns and the impact of increased remote working.

Almost one-third (31%) of respondents said their fitness was poor, with the survey revealing that fitness levels ranked lower than mental health, physical health and wellbeing scores. Furthermore, those aged 35 to 44 were the group most likely to say they were unfit.

In addition, pandemic-related anxiety remained present among the general population, as 38% said they were more worried about their wellness than ever before and 41% were concerned about the impact of future pandemics on their health. Despite these worries, 48% had not visited their GP in the past year and 60% had not had a dental check-up.

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Dr Robin Clark, medical director for Bupa Global and UK, said: “The impact of the past two years continues to be far-reaching and it may be some time before we return to pre-pandemic levels of physical and mental health.

“That said, taking the first steps towards a more active, healthy lifestyle is key and it’s really encouraging to see that health is now firmly back on the agenda for many who are attempting to reverse some of the negative side effects of staying at home.”