UK,
16
September
2016

London leads the way in the bid to get healthy, but there is still a long way to go

Headlines

• Nearly half of adults living in London have a ‘healthy’ BMI, much higher than anywhere else in the UK

• Londoners exercise much more than any other city

• Over one in five adults living London have a private health insurance scheme provided by their employer

London is by far the healthiest region in the UK, according to the latest Everyday Health Tracker report from healthcare provider Simplyhealth and YouGov.

Nearly half (46.7%) of adults living in London have a ‘healthy’ BMI, compared to a UK average of only 38%. London also has the lowest percentage of people categorised as ‘obese’.

In BMI terms, Wales ranked the lowest across the UK, with only 29% of the adult population ranking as ‘healthy’, over a third (38%) rated as ‘overweight’ and the second-highest proportion of people categorised as ‘obese’.

The report also delves into why Londoners are coming out on top, finding that those who live in the city are more likely to exercise (38%) and meet or exceed the NHS guidelines of recommended exercise compared to those in the North (31%) and East (36%) of the country, as well as Wales (33%) and Scotland (35%). Londoners are much more likely to cycle, one in four exercise at the gym at least once a month, slightly higher than the UK average, and the report also found those in the capital are more likely to use fitness apps.

However, despite London topping the Everyday Health Tracker Index as the healthiest UK region overall, and being health conscious (the report also found organic food is far more popular in London) Londoners are among the most likely to smoke – in fact, a quarter (25%) of Londoners smoke.

Over one in five employed adults (22%) living in London have a private health insurance scheme provided by their employer – much higher than anywhere else in the UK, where the average is only 14%.

Romana Abdin, Simplyhealth Chief Executive
It’s great to see people in London taking a level of personal responsibility and care for their own health and well-being. However, there is still a long way to go and it is a worrying sign that across the UK, so few people are meeting the NHS guidelines for exercise. 

With the NHS under increasing pressure it is more important, now than ever, that people start taking personal responsibility for their own health, where they can.
Romana Abdin, Simplyhealth Chief Executive
Notes to Editors

Methodology

For the Simplyhealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker, YouGov commissioned a survey among its online panel between 8 July – 11 July, 2016, drawing on a nationally representative sample of 2,009 UK adults aged 18+.

About Simplyhealth

Since 1872 – long before the existence of the NHS – we’ve been helping people to make the most of life, by managing their everyday health needs. We ensure 3.5 million people in the UK have access to health products, services and support they need, when they need them and at a price they can afford.

We’re proud to be the leading provider of health cash plans, dental payment and pet health plans. Whereas once we were known purely for cash plans, we now offer a wide range of products and services to cater for peoples’ everyday health needs – now and into the future.

Helping people make the most of life is our sole purpose and giving back is a huge part of that. In 2015 we were able to donate £1.6 million to charitable causes, touching the lives of nearly 825,000 people across the UK. Our future success and performance will enable us to deliver our ongoing pledge to donate 10% of our profits to charity each year.

Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

About YouGov

From the very beginning, we have been driven by a simple idea: The more people are able to participate in the decisions made by the institutions that serve them, the better those decisions will be.

We combine a continuous stream of data with our deep research expertise and broad industry experience, to develop the technologies and methodologies that will enable more collaborative decision making. And provide a more accurate, more actionable portrait of what the world thinks.

Our suite of proprietary data products includes: BrandIndex, the daily brand perception tracker; YouGov Omnibus, the fastest, most cost effective way to obtain answers from both national and selected samples; Pulse, that tracks actual online consumer behaviour across laptops, smartphones and tablets; and YouGov Profiles, a new tool for media planning, segmentation and forecasting.

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