According to new research, only half of UK adults feel healthy, with Brits’ relationship with exercise continuing to be strained.

The data from healthcare provider, Benenden Health, reveals that fewer than a fifth of adults (16%) love exercising, with a lack of physical activity leaving only half of the nation (52%) rating their health as either excellent or good and fewer than half (47%) happy with their body image.

More than a third of UK adults have, or plan to set a resolution to be physically healthier in 2023, despite many not feeling able to achieve this. The research found that 15% of the nation set this as a resolution every year but have never been able to achieve it.

The survey of 2,000 adults in the UK also found that a quarter of the nation doesn’t know the right exercise for their bodies, with individuals encouraged to find the right activity for them, with success not needing to be measured by marathon runs or endurance swimming.

With only half of individuals (55%) currently prioritising their health, Benenden Health is encouraging the nation to re-evaluate its relationship with exercise this year and take small steps to improve physical health. The call comes as part of the mutual’s ‘Time for a check in’ campaign, launched earlier this year. Having spoken in the campaign on physical health, television presenter Judi Love, said:

Exercise can be a scary word and make us think about long, horrible runs or demanding team sports, but in reality, exercise can be as simple as a walk to the shops, a short yoga class or dancing with friends. I’ve tried all different types of exercise – and disliked lots of them – but since finding the right activities for me, I actually enjoy it!

Since I found exercise that worked for me, both my physical health and mental wellbeing have improved hugely, so why not try something new in 2023 and celebrate the small steps you take – literally and metaphorically!

 Television presenter, Judi Love

Cheryl Luthgoe, Matron at Benenden Health, added:

Exercise doesn’t need to be daunting, and it is crucial that we aren’t comparing ourselves to others or have unrealistic expectations – especially at the start of a journey to become healthier.

Our research has found that only a fifth of the nation can run 5k, dance all night or swim a mile, so don’t judge your success by metrics such as these. Set yourself little challenges, take things one step at a time and your resolutions can be achieved, with great benefits to both your physical and mental health.

Cheryl Luthgoe, Matron at Benenden Health

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.