According to the study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Spire Bristol Hospital, one in five only think about their health when something is ‘seriously wrong’, and more than half admit they never or very rarely visit their GP for a check-up.
“The amount of time people wait before getting health problems checked out is really quite shocking.
“Putting off a visit to your doctor is never the answer – it means serious problems can get much worse and even becoming life-threatening and routine ailments go on for much longer, causing unnecessary discomfort.
“In the long-run neglecting visits to your GP can put a big strain on the healthcare system.”
The research also showed that, on average, we suffer with eight troublesome conditions a year – from stomach bugs and colds to headaches and back pain.
Worryingly, the study revealed people don’t start taking their health seriously until well into their thirties – only 14% thought those aged 20 to 27 need to pay proper attention to their health and well-being.
Mr Anderson added:
“It’s true that as we get older we are more likely to experience health problems, but that doesn’t mean that the younger generation should not pay attention to warning signs that something could be wrong.
“Lots of people feel embarrassed or as if they are bothering their doctor with routine problems, but a good GP should make you feel relaxed and comfortable so that you can discuss your concerns and get the answers you need.”
“Ignoring health concerns doesn’t make them go away and having a niggling worry about something for months could lead to stress and tension.
“In many instances there is a simple and quick remedy or procedure that can deal with the problem and dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life – and there are now a variety of ways that people can reach out to a health professional, even if they can’t visit their GP in person.”
The poll also found that three in ten claim to have at least one problem, injury or undiagnosed source of pain at any one time.
And a quarter admitted suffering with regular headaches.
Four in ten said they suffer with back pain, and 2% said they experience fainting.
Mr Anderson said:
“Regular headaches and fainting can be warning signs of something serious, so anyone suffering should talk to a healthcare professional directly”
“Things like back pain are extremely common, but there are simple things your doctor can advise you about to ease and eliminate discomfort.”
“As the old saying goes, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.”