Britain resolves to be more healthy in 2017

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
January 10, 2017, 12:01 AM GMT+0

Women and young people are most likely to have made resolutions for 2017

January is a notoriously good month for Britain’s gyms. Floods of new members sign up with the intention of getting in shape before giving up by the end of January, often without having cancelled their membership - a previous study found that Brits were wasting £37m a year in unused gym memberships.

The reason, of course, is the New Year's resolution. With the first week in January now behind us, YouGov research has found that slightly more than one in five Brits (21%) have made vows to themselves for 2017.

Women are more likely to have made resolutions than men (24% vs 17%), whilst younger people are more likely to have made them than their elder peers, with 33% of 18-24 year olds and 23% of 25-49 year olds having made resolutions compared to just 15-16% of 50+ year olds.

However, gym owners can rest assured that their annual bonanza looks set to continue another year, with the survey finding that health resolutions are the most common. Almost half (48%) of those who made a resolution for this year said that they wanted to lose weight, whilst 31% of people said they would be improving their diet. Women were particularly more likely to have made these resolutions than men. Four in ten people (41%) also said they would be exercising more or improving their fitness.

Another common resolution was to save money, with a third of people (32%) saying they want to do so this year. This commitment was particularly popular amongst younger people, with 48% of 18-24 year olds pledging to put more money away in 2017.

Should Auld resolutions be forgot…

With the first of 2017’s 52 weeks now over, 71% of people have managed to keep to their resolutions, whilst 22% have not – although a large proportion of these people are likely to have failed to make progress so far on their resolutions (e.g. losing weight), rather than having actually broken them.

Looking back at 2016 reveals that about half of people (48%) who made a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of the year were successful at keeping to it.

As with 2017, losing weight and exercising more were the most commonly made resolutions, and they were also the most commonly kept. Four in ten people (41%) who pledged to lose weight in 2016 were successful, as were 35% of those who resolved to do more exercise.

Photo: iStockphoto

See the full results here