40% of the UK will worry about their health concerns but not address them;
Seven in 10 people say the pandemic has made them more aware of their health and wellbeing;
Almost seven in 10 people have avoided or put off visiting their GPs.
The impact of the pandemic on mental health
As the UK emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, one area of concern we are left with is the impact on mental health and how it has affected groups of individuals.
Positive mental health is linked to good physical health, both of which support positive economic and social outcomes for our society and individual selves. According to MHFA England, mental illness is the second-largest source of burden of disease in England, costing the nation an estimated £105 billion per year. These illnesses are often more common, long-lasting, and impactful than other health conditions. To make matters worse, many have had limited access to health treatments and the NHS still is under record pressure.
According to Thomas Olivier, Co-Founder and CEO of Omnos, we are at a point in time where we can make tangible, sustainable changes to improve our lives and hopefully dispel some of these health worries in the process.
We conducted a research* to understand the nation’s response to medical care and the democratisation of health. Fascinatingly, the data shows more people are keen to learn about their health, open to at-home testing and research. However, this should be done in tandem with regular health checks and working with medical professionals to get the best results.
A change of view on personal health
The pandemic has fostered a new generation of health and wellbeing worriers. Our research shows four in 10 (40%) people are worrying about their health but, crucially, say they are not doing anything about these concerns.
The pandemic has drastically changed how the nation views its health, with seven in 10 (72%) people saying they are more aware of their health and wellbeing, and almost six out of 10 (59%) saying personal health is in their top three most important things in life - alongside family and love. The pandemic has especially affected younger people, with eight in ten (80%) 16–35-year-olds saying it has changed how they view their health.
Raising concerns about health and wellbeing
While the UK is taking more interest in health and wellbeing, this has not lessened concerns and worries. Women are significantly more likely to worry about health concerns without addressing them - nearly half (47%) compared to only one third (34%) of men.
39% of women surveyed expressed they had never had a full health check, the majority blaming lack of convenient appointments (26%) as the reason for avoiding or putting off seeing a GP. Qualitative responses also showed a reluctance from participants towards phone appointments, preferring face to face time with a doctor, as well as feelings of not being taken seriously.
When looking specifically at age groups, Gen Z are the most likely to worry about their health without addressing it. With well over half (54%) of 16–24-year-olds doing this and 38% too scared or nervous to find out if they are predisposed to a chronic illness or condition.
However, having grown up in era with heightened exposure to innovative technologies and services, Gen Z is far more susceptible to trying alternative methods. Over half (60%) said they would take at home health tests, showing there is an educational role to play amongst this generation on the long-term benefits of understanding and caring for our bodies.
Taking ownership of our health
As alluded to above, a considerable number of us are actively avoiding getting professional help when it comes to improving our health, including going to the doctors. Almost seven in 10 (69%) have put off visiting GPs in the past, opting instead to self-diagnose (49%) and carry out their own research into how to stay healthy (63%) during the first stages of feeling unwell.
Positively however, one in seven (70%) of participants said they were open to knowing if they were predisposed to a chronic illness or condition. More than half (51%) of people said they are likely to take their health into their own hands by doing at-home tests during these stages.
Having shared a list of types of at-home health tests with participants including blood, urine, saliva, hair and stool, more than 7 in ten (70%+) people said they had taken or would be willing to take one to better understand their own health. This was further supported by a high willingness to try specific at home health tests that Omnos offers, from general wellness to hormones.
Despite becoming a nation of worriers, being proactive will help to combat the growing problem of chronic illness, which is expected to affect 18 million people in the UK by 2025. At Omnos, our goal is to shift the focus of health and wellness from treating symptoms to a more efficient holistic prevention model centred around the individual. Should you be inspired to take control of your own health, see our full range of available at home tests.
*Censuswide online survey commissioned by Omnos conducted from 16.02.2022 to 21.02.2022. Censuswide surveyed 2,001 UK general consumers, to find out their views on health and wellbeing, and at-home testing.
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