The age Brits start taking their health seriously is 'too late', warns expert

man working on health
Most Brits wait until age 38 to take their health seriously, a new survey has found. (Getty Images)

Our physical health is something many of us take for granted in our younger years, and a new study has found that most Britons don’t start taking their health seriously until the age of 38 — which could be too late.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 Brits, also found that most people will also wait for a health scare before starting to take better care of themselves.

Other common triggers include a milestone birthday, new aches and pains, or when a loved one experiences a health issue or passes away.

Famous folk facing a health issue can also prompt some to look at their own health, with King Charles’ treatment for an enlarged prostate resulting in one person visiting the NHS site for information on the condition every five seconds in the day after the announcement.

“It can be very easy to disregard your health - particularly when you are young or you feel that everything is OK,” Dr Elizabeth Rogers, associate clinical director, at Bupa Health Clinics, warns.

“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 experiencing an issue.”

granola and berries in a bowl
Nearly half of Brits followed a poor diet when they were younger. (Getty Images)

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, also found that 11% of people still do not take their health seriously, while 84% believe they took their health for granted when they were younger.

A further 39% of respondents regret not taking care of their health before they reached their mid-twenties, while 38% said they followed a poor diet when they were young, 30% drank ‘too much’ alcohol, and 28% let stress get to them too often.

So, how do you know when you should start taking your health seriously? The survey has revealed the top 25 reasons to do so.

25 reasons to start taking your health seriously

  1. Starting to have aches and pains you didn’t have before.

  2. Feeling physically unfit.

  3. Having a health scare.

  4. Not losing weight as easily as you used to.

  5. Reaching a milestone birthday.

  6. Gaining a lot of weight.

  7. A family member/friend/partner passing away.

  8. Suffering with a mental health issue.

  9. Someone you know having a health scare.

  10. Falling ill more frequently than you used to.

  11. A relative having a health scare.

  12. Becoming a parent.

  13. Taking longer to recover from playing sports or doing exercise.

  14. Having a stressful time at work and wanting to make sure other areas of your life were healthy.

  15. Someone you know dying suddenly.

  16. Wanting to be an active parent.

  17. A friend having an issue/scare.

  18. A feeling that you are catching every bug or illness going round.

  19. Your parents falling ill.

  20. No longer getting away without stretching and warming up properly before exercise.

  21. Reaching the same age as a parent/grandparent who suffered with a health condition.

  22. Losing a lot of weight.

  23. A loved one asking you to.

  24. Reaching the same age your parents were when they had you.

  25. A celebrity or well-known person having an issue/scare or passing away suddenly.

One in three people (30%) have been asked by a loved one to take more care of their health, and now 45% of people say they try to get more sleep, 43% try to drink more water, and 34% try to reduce stress.

However, 21% of people are currently unhappy with their physical health, while 32% would like to improve their fitness levels.

women doing yoga
One in three people want to improve their fitness levels. (Getty Images)

Dr Rogers adds: “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.”

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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