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Only half of UK adults feel healthy, with Brits’ relationship with exercise continuing to be strained, according to new research.

The data from not-for-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health, reveals that fewer than a fifth of adults (16%) love exercising, with a lack of physical activity leaving only half of the nation (52%) rating their health as either excellent or good and fewer than half (47%) happy with their body image.

More than a third of UK adults have, or plan to set a resolution to be physically healthier in 2023, despite many not feeling able to achieve this. The research found that 15% of the nation set this as a resolution every year but have never been able to achieve it.

With only half of individuals (55%) currently prioritising their health, Benenden Health is encouraging the nation to reevaluate their relationship with exercise this year and take small steps to improve their physical health.

The survey of 2,000 adults in the UK also found that a quarter of the nation don’t know the right exercise for their bodies, with individuals encouraged to find the right activity for them, with success not needing to be measured by marathon runs or endurance swimming.

The call comes as part of the mutual’s ‘Time for a check in’ campaign, launched earlier this year in partnership with Channel 4.

Having spoken in the campaign on physical health, television presenter Judi Love, said: “Exercise can be a scary word and make us think about long, horrible runs or demanding team sports, but in reality, exercise can be as simple as a walk to the shops, a short yoga class or dancing with friends.

“I’ve tried all different types of exercise – and disliked lots of them - but since finding the right activities for me, I actually enjoy it! Strictly Come Dancing was the start of me pushing myself out of my comfort zone when it came to exercise , I found dancing to be a great way to exercise and that has since developed into my love for boxing. Since I found exercise that worked for me, both my physical health and mental wellbeing have improved hugely, so why not try something new in 2023 and celebrate the small steps you take – literally and metaphorically!”

Cheryl Lythgoe, Matron at Benenden Health, added: “Exercise doesn’t need to be daunting, and it is crucial that we aren’t comparing ourselves to others or have unrealistic expectations – especially at the start of a journey to become healthier.

“Our research has found that only a fifth of the nation can run 5k, dance all night or swim a mile, so don’t judge your success by metrics such as these. Set yourself little challenges, take things one step at a time and your resolutions can be achieved, with great benefits to both your physical and mental health.”

Benenden Health is on a mission to get everybody talking about and checking in with their health more. Through a Benenden Health membership, individuals can join 840,000+ others who are already checking in with their health through access to physical and mental health services, including 24/7 GP and Mental Health helpline, quick access to diagnosis and treatment and a whole lot more.

For more information about Benenden Health, go to:


For enquiries please contact Ben Rowe or Caitlin Singh at Definition /

Notes to editors
The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,002 adults in UK between 7.12.2022 – 9.12.2022.

Through their ‘Time for a check in’ campaign, Benenden Health and Channel 4 are on a mission to get everybody talking about and checking in with their health more, with the ultimate aim of improving the nation’s health.

With a Benenden Health membership, individuals can join 840,000+ other members who are already checking in with their health, with access to a GP 24/7, getting back on their feet with Physiotherapy, and taking the time to have that much needed conversation with a dedicated 24/7 Mental Health Helpline.

Benenden Health is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1905 with the purpose of people joining together to help pay for medical care. It is one of the UK’s longest serving and most respected mutual healthcare societies, offering an affordable alternative to health insurance to more than 820,000 members. Further data from the survey is available on request.

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