Most of us when asked will say that we’re concerned about living a healthy lifestyle, but it seems that not many of us are willing to put our money where our mouth is. According to a recent survey, more than half of us claim to want a healthier lifestyle, and a similar number claim to be conscious of our health. But almost 70% of us admit to making unhealthy choices when it comes to our lifestyle. More than 2 out of 5 people did confessed they did nothing at all towards a healthy lifestyle, and a whopping 90% of people spent less than a hundred dollars in the last year on their health – that’s not even a new pair of runners!
So, what’s going on? Is it too hard for the average person to make healthy decisions? Further investigation revealed the most common reasons for people not sticking to their intended healthy lifestyles, and it’s pretty easy to relate to most of them.
First up, about one in ten people are happy doing nothing about being healthy. Of course that’s their choice, but there are other valid reasons. Topping the list, over a quarter of people say they have more pressing responsibilities in their lives, including work and social commitments, and more domestic tasks like raising a family. Time is a big issue for most of us, and often related to another big issue: money. Almost a quarter of people surveyed said the cost of living a healthy life was too high for them. A smaller fraction, 15%, said they just didn’t know where to start, and it’s probably that group who would be easiest to get motivated.
While feeling healthy has direct benefits to us personally, being unhealthy has costs not just to us, but to the broader community. Almost a third of the health care costs in Australia are attributable to choices people make about their own lifestyle that result in preventable illness.