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BUPA research reveals the top UK health worries for 2023

New research from BUPA has revealed that Britons are experiencing key health worries at the start of this year:

  • Over three quarters of people in the UK have concerns about their health going into 2023
  • The top concerns are weight, mental health and not enough exercise
  •  Despite this, 75% say they will prioritise their loved one’s health over their own this year
  • Bupa expert urges people to take charge of their health in 2023

Over three quarters of UK adults (78%) have concerns about their health going in to 20231, with worries about weight and mental health being the biggest concerns for the year ahead.

Not exercising enough (20%), back problems (13%) and their diet (14%) were also key concerns, along with issues like blood pressure (10%) and managing pre-existing conditions such as diabetes (10%).

Despite this, the research, commissioned by Bupa Health Clinics showed that 75% of UK adults admit they will be prioritising other people’s physical and mental health over their own this year.

Those most likely to put their health on the back burner are those aged 45-55 as they prioritise their children (45%), partners (32%) and parents (22%) leaving themselves at risk of more serious conditions.

Dr Samantha Wild, GP and Women’s health clinical lead at Bupa Health Clinics said: “We know that early diagnosis and access to treatment can save lives. It’s therefore important that we prioritise our own health as well as others, making sure we don’t put concerns on hold and seek help when we need it, rather than waiting until symptoms get more serious.”

“The start of the year is a good time to get any health concerns checked and take action to manage long term health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Taking control of your health shouldn’t be something that just happens in January, as our research shows over three quarters of Brits are worried about various aspects of their health this year so taking steps to lead a healthier lifestyle and making your health part of your long-term routine is essential.”

The study also found that just over one in 10 adults wouldn’t speak to anyone if they had a concern about their physical health, instead turning to search engines for advice on symptoms. When it came to mental health, only 9% were looking to talk more about their mental health this year, even though it was one of the biggest concerns.

Dr Wild said: “The longer, darker winter months have a greater impact on peoples’ mental health with less daylight, sunshine and opportunity to get outside. I was concerned to see how many people are worried about their mental health going into 2023 and would encourage people to take steps to support their mental health. Exercising and following a healthy diet are good places to start, along with getting enough sleep, and speaking to a friend or family member as well as a medical professional about how you’re feeling.”

While many people have health concerns, 19% of adults are looking to take proactive steps to improve their overall health and wellbeing this year, with 28% wanting to become more physically active and 24% wanting to make their diet healthier.

Dr Wild said: “We see many people who come into our health clinics for a health assessment in January with intentions to make changes to their health for a month, such as giving up meat or alcohol. The reality is going back to your previous habits after a short time can undo all the healthy benefits you’ve gained during the month of change. I usually recommend that people make small sustainable changes to their lifestyle, which they can keep up all year round.”

Top 10 health worries for 2023

1. Weight
2. Mental health
3. Not enough exercise
4. Being physically fit
5. Unhealthy diet
6. Back problems
7. Dental health
8. Joint problems
9. Chronic health conditions eg diabetes
10. Blood pressure


  1. The research for Bupa Health Clinics was carried out by Censuswidebetween 06/01/2023 and 09/01/2023 amongst a panel resulting in 2,050 respondents. Censuswide abides by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.


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