Brits spend £65k over a lifetime looking after their basic health

The average Brit will spend more than £65,000 over their lifetime – looking after their basic health, it has emerged

A poll of 2,000 adults found we spend an average of £1,091.26 each year on gym memberships, vitamins and supplements, prescriptions, exercise classes and healthy foods.

And over the course of a 60.3 year average adult lifespan, that adds up to a staggering £65,802.98.

The research also revealed the average Brit spends an average of £113.46 each year on gym memberships, another £123.60 on vitamins and supplements, and an extra £66 on protein powders.

They’ll also spend £28.98 a year on new exercise gear, clothing and equipment to help with their workouts.

And those who use alternative medicines and therapies will spend £31.98 a year on the treatments.

The research was conducted by 4Homeopathy in support of Homeopathy Awareness Week (10-16th April).

A spokesperson said: “Looking after your health is one of the most important things you can do.

“There are so many ways you can dedicate funds to improve your health and wellbeing, and we are encouraged by the results of the study which indicate many Brits would be open to alternative therapies in the future.

“We know that many people – with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle being the latest high-profile examples – are already enjoying or exploring the positive health benefits of complementary and alternative medicines.”

It also emerged one third of adults would consider using complementary or homeopathic alternatives for an ailment in the future, and one in six are already using alternative methods to help with their illness.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, also explored attitudes to healthcare and wellness.

Men are more likely to spend money on vitamins, protein powders and exercise supplements to stay healthy, while women prioritise their spend on healthy foods.

Seven in 10 Brits think about the state of their health on a regular basis, with the average adult visiting the doctor three times a year.

And one in 10 have put off visiting their doctor in case it resulted in a costly diagnosis they would struggle to afford.

However, 12 per cent are already currently suffering with a medical condition that causes them significant expense to treat.

But only 14 per cent of adults surveyed in the study currently have a savings account reserved specifically in case of emergency.

Londoners are most likely to fret about the state of their health, while those living in the North West are the most relaxed about their physical wellbeing.

Residents of Oxford are most likely to rate their general health as excellent, while those living in Cambridge are most likely to rate their health poorly.

The spokesperson for 4Homeopathy, which is an alliance of 11 of the UK’s largest homeopathic organisations working together to promote the benefits of homeopathy, said: “A health issue can feel daunting, putting strain on physical, psychological and financial elements.

“This Homeopathy Awareness Week we would encourage Brits to explore other alternative avenues of healthcare especially if traditional routes are causing anxiety or are proving ineffective”.

* To read the full results of this study visit:


Gym memberships – £113.46

Vitamins and supplements – £123.60

Protein powders – £66

Wellbeing/exercise classes – £96

Exercise equipment/clothing – £28.98

Playing sports – £108.66

Healthy foods – £428.88

Medical prescriptions – £17.30

Dieting/weight loss prescriptions – £76.40

Complementary/alternative medicines – £31.98


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1 Response

  1. So, it looks like the homeopathy lobby and promotion group, 4Homeopathy, can’t tell us from their ‘research’ how many people actually use homeopathy but shows that the vast majority of this £1,091.26 per annum is spent on what could best be described as conventional health products, foods and services as well as sport and sports equipment.

    Also, they say that £31.98 is spent on ‘complementary/alternative medicines’ but don’t say what these practices and products are – many definitions exist and frequently includes practices such as massage. That can’t leave much spent on homeopathic sugar pellets.

    What is odd that 4Homeopathy’s survey results claimed that 11% have used or are using homeopathy and a further 43% don’t use it but would consider using it. These seem extraordinarily high. One possible explanation is that people are just not aware what homeopathy actually is and many frequently believe it to include herbal products, Bach flower products and the like – the survey doesn’t seem to have given respondents any definition of it.

    Fortunately, we do have more reliable data on usage of homeopathy in the UK. The European Social Survey, ESS7-2014, ed.2.1, estimated that just 1.3% of the population had used homeopathy in the previous 12 months – and that includes over-the-counter products sold, bizarrely, in pharmacies and ‘health’ food shops.

    Calling them ‘medicines’ is a category error: while some homeopathic products are referred to as ‘medicinal products’ for the purposes of legislation concerned with regulation of their safe production (and not their efficacy), the best, most robust evidence tells us they have no specific effects over placebo – ie that they truly are just sugar pills that have no medicinal effect.

    We also know homeopathy is in terminal decline in the UK. Today saw the announcement that the NHS England has finally and formally asked the Department of Health to add homeopathy to the blacklist of products that cannot be prescribed on the NHS. This further de-legitimises homeopathy and will be a blow to many homeopaths who like to cite their use on the NHS to impress their customers.

    This also comes at a time where the number of NHS prescriptions for homeopathy dispensed in community pharmacies in England fell in 2018 for the 22nd consecutive year. In newly released data from NHS Digital, the number fell by 35% in 2018, a 98% drop from its peak in 1996.

    This is not good news for homeopaths and their trade bodies, but is good news for health. In Homeopathy Awareness Week, let’s all beware of homeopathy…

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