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Health

The surprising things Brits would miss most if their health declined

October 26th 2017 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru / 0 comment

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From socialising to showering and food shopping, a new study reveals the nation’s ‘Miss List’ of everyday activities that they'd miss most if their health suddenly went downhill

When it comes to our health, it’s common to focus on and prepare for the worst: cancer, diabetes, heart disease...and understandably so. However according to a new study, many of us are increasingly equating good health solely with not having a life-threatening condition and overlooking its importance in helping us enjoy everyday activities.

Conducted by Bupa Health Clinics, the study helps to shine a light on perceptions of health and how a large proportion of us forget the role good physical health plays in day-to-day life - the small pleasures many of us can often take for granted. Dr Petra Simic, Clinical Director of Bupa Health Clinics said: “The disconnect between health and the ability to enjoy everyday things like walking the dog or driving a car is something we see in our clinics all the time. When people think about health, they automatically think about the big scary stuff; so much so that two thirds of those we surveyed think being in good health means not having a life-threatening or serious illness. As a result, forty per cent only think about health when there’s a problem.”

Regarding the everyday activities that would be missed most following a sudden health issue, the 4,062 participant survey offered up some surprising results. 56 per cent said they’d miss socialising with friends and family, while interestingly 55 per cent said they'd miss showering and bathing comfortably and 43 per cent said driving. These ranked higher than answers such as eating and drinking in a restaurant (34%), sport and exercise (27%) and playing with their children (26%). Working, cooking and food shopping also featured in the top 10 too.

To encourage appreciation of the ‘Miss List’ activities that health helps people do each day, Bupa Health Clinics has just launched a campaign to get the public sharing their #EverydayMoments. It's kicked off with an A - Z to highlight the amazing things that we can do on a daily basis as a result of good health.

As for changing our perceptions of health, Dr Simic recommends taking care of the little things day-to-day and appreciating all that good health allows us to do - no matter how big or small they may seem. “Being more aware of the great things health allows us to do means we’re more likely to take care of the little things,” she says. "Whether it’s an injury that needs a physio’s once over, a niggling cough that needs a GP’s attention, or perhaps just getting that all important blood pressure check, these are all things that can, mostly temporarily, stop you enjoying the everyday activities if ignored.”

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