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Medichecks' State of the Nation Report, July 2020

We asked the nation about their lockdown experience, read on to find out what we discovered.

Contents

Attitude towards Coronavirus

Chapter 1

Attitude towards Coronavirus

Brits avoid NHS services

Chapter 2

Brits avoid NHS services

Millions of Brits are happier and healthier

Chapter 3

Millions of Brits are happier and healthier

Half of Britons cashed in during lockdown

Chapter 4

Half of Britons cashed in during lockdown

UK workers want better work-life balance

Chapter 5

UK workers want better work-life balance

Scots ditched takeaways and turned to exercise in lockdown

Chapter 6

Scots ditched takeaways and turned to exercise in lockdown

Take home message

Chapter 7

Take home message

Attitude towards Coronavirus

Chapter 1

Attitude towards Coronavirus

2000 people from across the UK were asked their thoughts on COVID-19. Here's what they said...

Despite the lack of a positive test, 1 in 5 Brits believe they have had COVID-19 and worryingly of these, over a third (34%) confess to having a more ‘relaxed’ approach to social distancing guidelines. Only 8% of respondents have had Coronavirus confirmed with a positive test.

Only 8% believe that having had Covid-19 delivers total immunity, with the biggest percentage, 60% believing it provides some immunity. Our data suggest that the misguided beliefs of people who think they have previously fought the virus could contribute to a potential second peak.

Of the thousands of COVID-19 antibody tests we sold in May, 85% received negative results, demonstrating the importance of testing. If people aren't sure but suspect they have had COVID-19, there is a risk that they may behave differently.

Two-thirds of respondents believe there will be a second wave in the UK, with one third claiming they will be less likely to follow future lockdown restrictions. Those aged 25 to 34 are most willing to ignore official advice, with almost half (47%) confessing they would flout rules. Correspondingly, our study found that younger adults are much more likely to suspect they have had COVID-19, regardless of a positive test.

Brits avoid NHS services

Chapter 2

Brits avoid NHS services

2000 people from across the UK were asked about their attitude towards the NHS during lockdown . Here's what they said...

The coronavirus pandemic forced many non-urgent NHS services to temporarily pause or to go virtual during lockdown and our research shows that this could have long term implications for the health of the nation.

1 in 5 had a health condition that they would ordinarily have sought treatment for, but either chose not to or could not during lockdown. Half reported that lockdown prevented them from having blood tests to monitor their health.

1 in 3 (34%) believe that their lifestyle through lockdown has worsened their condition. While the same number took their health into their own hands and managed their condition via diet and exercise.

19% of those questioned had received virtual treatment during lockdown, with 75% of those happy to continue this method post COVID-19.

61% of those polled took personal responsibility for their health, with 30% identifying it as primarily the job of the NHS to safeguard their health.

Millions of Brits are happier and healthier

Chapter 3

Millions of Brits are happier and healthier

2000 people from across the UK were asked about their health and lifestyle during lockdown . Here's what they said...

However, it is not all doom and gloom as life in lockdown made Brits healthier and happier. Our findings indicate that Brits used lockdown to take control of their wellbeing – and overall made positive lifestyle choices resulting in a third (32%) emerging from lockdown happier.

40% of Brits report eating more healthy foods than pre lockdown, with 31% eating less meat. The most common impact of lockdown is that almost 3/4s cooked from scratch.

Many of us did have much more free time than we’re used to, so it no surprise 44% of Brits exercised more during lockdown than beforehand, rising to 58% of 25 to 34-year olds - with just 17% having not done anything to keep active.

Although home gym equipment sold out within days of the gyms closing their doors, 34% invested in their health and wellbeing by buying fitness equipment or embarking upon a health or fitness programme at home.

Indulging in ‘furlough merlot’ seems to be a myth based on our data, with the largest number, 38%, maintaining their usual level of alcohol consumption, and around 1 in 4 drinking less.

Half of Britons cashed in during lockdown

Chapter 4

Half of Britons cashed in during lockdown

2000 people from across the UK were asked how the pandemic impacted their finances. Here's what they said...

Moving onto money, unexpectedly nearly half (49%) of Brits actually saved money during lockdown, with over a quarter (28%) revealing they emerged from it better off than pre-COVID.

Not only that, 52% admitted to making ‘non-essential purchases’, with an average spend of £336. Men typically spent around £50 more than women and over 65s spent the most.

And it’s good news for small businesses as 52% shopped more in local businesses for essentials and 56% said they won't spend money with companies who treated customers or employees poorly.

UK workers want better work-life balance

Chapter 5

UK workers want better work-life balance

2000 people from across the UK were asked how the pandemic impacted their work. Here's what they said...

We may have emerged from lockdown happier, healthier and with some extra cash, but our findings show that attitudes towards work appear to have significantly shifted for many.

58% of those still employed now prefer working from home, 48% want more flexible and remote working arrangements and 48% intend to prioritise family above their job in the future.

With that said, it seems that the new normal has started to take a toll on some, with 22% working longer hours than usual and 23% report a poorer work-life balance than before lockdown.

When it came up to upskilling and development, 25 to 34-year-olds were most likely of all age groups to have spent time improving their skills and prospects (51%), while half of all people, 51%, stated they recognise their worth to their company following lockdown.

Scots ditched takeaways and turned to exercise in lockdown

Chapter 6

Scots ditched takeaways and turned to exercise in lockdown

Looking at Scots specifically, our survey results show that they have embraced a healthier lifestyle in the wake of lockdown.

While many of us over indulged, 55% of Scots ate fewer takeaways, with 1 in 3 choosing to eat healthier. 69% went back to basics in the kitchen and cooked their meals from scratch.

However, more than 1 in 4 Scottish adults believe their mental health has worsened due to COVID-19, plus 30% reported that pre-existing health conditions have deteriorated, and almost half (47%) confess to struggling with anxiety.

Factors affecting mental health in Scotland include job security, financial uncertainty, and changes to lifestyle habits. The research revealed that 78% are concerned about recession, 40% are fearful of losing their job, whilst almost half (47%) say they have a better work life balance now and 65% will avoid public transport and 62% are against travelling abroad in the near future.

To combat this, Scots have turned to exercise, with 51% using lockdown as an opportunity to get fit.

70% of Scots believe there will be a second lockdown, with a quarter admitting they would have difficulty coping with it. Despite this concern, Scotland residents feel motivated to prioritise their health if faced with a second lockdown, with 40% planning to eat better and keep more active.

Take home message

Chapter 7

Take home message

Lockdown affected many of us in different ways, whether it was overcoming challenges such as the new work-school-home life balance, finding new ways to stay fit and healthy, or getting enough sleep. One thing is for certain, looking after our health has never been more important.

Feel like lockdown got the better of you or want to check how your new lockdown health regime has affected your health? One of the best ways to understand your current health status and establish your baseline blood levels is with a simple at-home blood test. Our Well Woman UltraVit Blood Test and Well Man UltraVit Blood Test are perfect if you want an overall health MOT. They include tests for liver health, diabetes, and cholesterol as well as male and female hormones and vitamins for energy and wellbeing. Take a blood test today to see how your lockdown lifestyle has affected your overall health.