People spend 50% less time and money on mental wellbeing than physical fitness

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  • New research into the health habits of Britons has revealed that Britons choose to spend more than twice as much time and money on activities to improve their physical health compared to their mental wellbeing. This is despite 70% of the UK saying they believe mental and physical wellbeing are as important as one another. 

    The study by Forest Holidays discovered that, on average, people spend £63.85 and eight hours and 38 minutes of their time each month on physical activities such as training at the gym, cycling and swimming. In contrast, only £29.94 and three hours and 53 minutes were spent each month on activities designed to improve mentalwellbeing, such as meditation, life coaching, and going for a walk amongst nature. More than a quarter of Brits (27%) also said they wouldn’t know how to improve theirmental wellbeing. 

    Sara Warber, MD, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan and Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School commented:

    “Our mental wellbeing should never take second place to our physical health. Humans are complex beings where our physical and mental wellbeing work in tandem to create a healthy whole. If either part isn’t properly looked after, it’s likely that the other will also suffer. 

    "Due to a greater amount of public health advice around physical activity, there is a cultural acceptance of prioritising physical health over mental wellbeing. There are also visible motivators like the fear of obesity and the improved feelings one gets from being and looking stronger, which don’t exist in the same way for mental wellbeing. Social media is also a strong motivator as it creates a reinforcing community around whatever activities one undertakes and ‘brags’ about.

    "Prioritising physical health over mental wellbeing could mean we’re potentially opening ourselves up to bigger health problems in the future, and could set an unhealthy precedent for future generations.”

    Connecting with nature 

    When it comes to key activities that promote positive mental wellbeing, an almost unanimous 92% of the UK agreed that getting outdoors is important for the mind yet, shockingly, one in three people in the UK (32%) admit they have never actually been for a walk in nature.

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