More than 5 million people now more worried about their health post COVID
New research has revealed that an estimated 5.4 million people have a heightened concern for their health after the pandemic, according to a poll of 2,000 UK adults conducted by Opinium and commissioned by the Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO).
The majority of respondents also said they have been taking positive steps over the past 6 months to improve their health by walking more (35%) and eating healthier (34%). Only 26% have said they have not taken any positive steps to improve their health.
Key findings of the research are:
- 63% of people in the 55+ age category and 55% of female respondents consider their health to be very important as a result of the pandemic.
- 43% of 18–34-year-olds have used a service outside of the NHS such as private health insurance, diagnostic test providers, and medical apps to help with a health-related concern over the last 6 months. This is compared to 23% of the general public. These findings suggest that the NHS is failing to respond to the demands of a digital generation who are turning to apps to be part of the diagnostics revolution
- Almost one in ten (9%) of 18–34-year-olds have used diagnostics tests through a non-NHS provider and 14% have used an app to monitor their health. In contrast, only 13% of people in the 55+ age category have used a service outside of the NHS over the past 6 months.
Tom Watson, Chair, The Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation, said:
“It is encouraging to see the public taking ownership of their health and taking positive steps to improve their health and wellbeing. We know that we can prevent disease by making key changes to our lifestyle and this will drastically improve the health of the nation. This is an important lesson for the Government and the NHS to focus on preventative care which can drastically reduce the burden on the NHS.
“Almost a quarter of the public and a higher number of younger people are seeking services outside of the NHS such as diagnostic tests and private health. This number will certainly increase with the increasing pressure on the NHS and the growing backlog. This is a real opportunity for the NHS to work with private sector laboratories and hospitals to help clear the backlog in critical care and diagnostics testing. The independent diagnostic industry stands ready to deploy its resources to help with the national effort to clear the backlog.”
The survey also found that, beyond lifestyle changes, individuals are also increasingly using health tests to monitor their health. The most common types of tests used are Covid-19 tests (46%) and blood tests (33%). Only one-third of respondents have not used any type of health tests over the past 6 months.
More than half the public (51%) consider their health to be very important compared to 43% of people who felt the same way about their health before the pandemic.
These findings suggest that the pandemic has clearly had an impact on the public’s views on their health. While COVID is still a concern, it’s at a lower level, and around 23% have no concerns at all about COVID. The main worry is related to passing on the virus to friends and family as well as long COVID.
Opinium polled 2,000 people 18+ in the UK between August 23rd-26th.
For more information about the LTIO, please visit www.ltio.org.uk.
The Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO) is the trade association for the testing industry, covering testing companies and laboratories. The LTIO has an ethical purpose at its core, setting standards as a central part of its public service. We are led by a Chair and overseen by an Advisory Board, which meets to discuss the issues facing the industry and decide the direction of the LTIO.