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PruHealth reveals 39 is the age Brits start to worry about health


PruHealth has announced that 39 is the age Brits really start to worry about their health, according to new calculations* by the insurer that rewards people for engaging in healthy behaviour.

With thirty-something peers such as fitness-fanatic Gwyneth Paltrow (38 years) and channel-swimming David Walliams (39 years) showing vitality and achieving their health goals, perhaps it’s understandable the average Brit is feeling the heat as they approach the big four-zero.

However it seems Brits are all woe and not enough go. Whilst one in ten (11 per cent) constantly worry about their health and a further 40 per cent** worry that they are not healthy enough, they are not doing much to improve it. One in five (20 per cent) people admit laziness and time pressures are the main barriers to living healthily. For a further 15 per cent it’s simply their love of unhealthy foods that gets in the way.

Given the power of hindsight and their chance again, the survey asked respondents over the age of twenty-five what advice they would give their younger selves. The top five tips were: don’t smoke (19%), look after your body (15%), do more exercise (14%), think about the consequences of your actions (11%) and eat more healthily (10%).

Only 10 per cent would advise a ’live for the moment’ approach and tell their younger selves to enjoy the present and not worry about the future.

However despite good intentions, the unfortunate reality is it takes the diagnosis of a serious illness to encourage four in five (80 per cent) Brits to improve their health, and over half (51 per cent) if it were a close friend or family member***.

Dr Katherine Tryon at PruHealth, said: "People lead busy lives, but there is a big task ahead in the UK to encourage people to make health changes now rather than later - prevention rather than cure. We need to stop worrying about our health and start doing something to look after ourselves. If approaching the big four-zero is the kick-start thirty-somethings need, then that can only be a good thing.

“Encouragingly over half the respondents (54 per cent) said that the offer of health incentives and health rewards are likely to change their behaviour and help them lead a healthy life. At PruHealth our key focus is to help remove barriers to health living and incentivise healthy activities via our Vitality scheme.”

About PruHealth
PruHealth was launched into the UK market in October 2004 as a joint venture between Discovery and UK insurer, Prudential, in response to a growing need for consumer-directed private medical insurance products.

Today, Pru insurance covers 700,000 lives.
Notes to editors:
*Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,019 British adults from 11th – 15th February 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. 39 years is an average age calculated from those that provided an answer to the question “At approximately what age did the state of your health and body really start to be a worry to you?” (n=1,175).
** 40% worry that they are not healthy enough = 17% who occasionally worry + 13% who think they could be healthier + 10% who worry after eating.
*** Calculations:
It takes the diagnosis of a serious illness for 80% of Brits to improve their health:
43% of respondents answered this is very likely
37% of respondents answered this is fairly likely
Total = 80%

It takes the diagnosis of a close friend or family member with a serious illness for 51% of Brits to improve their health:
14% of respondents answered this is very likely
37% of respondents answered this is fairly likely
Total = 51%

PR Contact:
Darragh Leeson
Head of Media Relations
Prudential UK and Europe
Marble Arch Tower
17th Floor
55 Bryanston Street
020 7150 2600


 Vitality scheme
 Health rewards
 Health incentives
 Medical insurance

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