COVID-19 has inspired Britons to take better care of their health

Britons are increasingly self-educating and acting to boost their everyday health, from visiting pharmacists instead of the GP to staying at home when ill to avoid transmission, indicates new research from GSK Consumer Healthcare and Ipsos MORI.

In the survey, which included 1,108 participants aged between 16 and 75 years, the majority (77%) considered it important to take their health into their own hands in order not to burden the healthcare system, and almost half (48%) intend to use pharmacists more in the future for advice on minor health concerns.

Compared with before the coronavirus pandemic, 68% of Britons would now be more likely to take extra precautions to minimise or eliminate passing on an illness that they may have, the groups said.

The research also revealed that 39% took their health for granted before the COVID-19 outbreak, with 56% saying that they now have a better understanding of what impacts their health.

Also of note, in the wake of the pandemic there seems to be a renewed appetite for proactive self-education on health – 50% of Britons now feel more able to recognise their body’s symptoms of ill health while 62% are more likely to consider their health in daily decision-making.

Over three-quarters (77 %) felt it important to take their health into their own hands in order to reduce the burden on the NHS, with almost half of Britons surveyed saying they were more likely to treat illness with over-the-counter medicines instead of going to their GP.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired Britons to self-educate and form new habits to improve their everyday health as many realise that they had previously taken this for granted. It is very positive to see the feeling of collective responsibility in wanting to lessen the burden on the NHS,” said Jon Workman, GSK Consumer Healthcare area general manager, UK & Ireland.

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