New research from Simplyhealth shows 17 million British people are committed to improving long-term health in 2021

20 January 2021

  • 1 in 5 (19%) in Britain admit the wider societal/financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged them to take better care of their health/lifestyle
  • 8 in 10 British people (84%) believe individuals have a “responsibility to take better care of their health” to support the National Health Service (NHS) in 2021
  • Employee health and wellbeing has to be front of mind for organisations, says Simplyhealth

17 million British people want to take action to improve their long-term health, according to new research from ICMIF member Simplyhealth, one of the UK’s leading healthcare plan providers¹.

The research findings show that 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s attitudes to their health as 1 in 5 (19%) admit the wider societal / financial impact of COVID-19 has encouraged them to take better care of their health and lifestyle, making smarter health decisions overall.

People feel a strong sense of personal accountability for their health according to the report; 8 in 10 British people (84%) believe individuals have a “responsibility to take better care of their health” to support the NHS in 2021. 50% of people in Britain who have made New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 say they want to take action to improve their long-term health as many recognise the impact this has on their families, local communities, and the NHS.

2021: A New Year’s health revolution

2 in 5 (44%) British people plan to take on at least one New Year’s Resolution for 2021; half (50%) of those planning a New Year’s Resolution, equating to a total of 17 million people, want to take action to improve their long-term health, and 1 in 4 (23%) are making health resolutions that will benefit their families.

Health and fitness resolutions remain popular for 2021 according to Simplyhealth’s research – 47% want to lose weight, 46% want to improve their fitness and 28% want to improve their diet.

SimplyMe – improving employee health and wellbeing

In October 2020, Simplyhealth launched its free-to-use health and wellbeing app, SimplyMe which encourages people to lead healthier lives and look after their mental health, while giving back to communities in need. The app helps users to make small, easy changes to improve physical and emotional health, and build lifelong healthy habits. When incorporated into a benefits offering, SimplyMe ensures employees can access high-quality support and evidence-based insights to help them keep as fit and well as possible – both physically and mentally.

The app’s dashboard analyses health across five categories: mind, heart, sleep, weight and activity, giving personalised insights and guidance.

For every new sign up to the app throughout January 2021, Simplyhealth donates GBP 5 to Sported, a national charity which supports almost 3,000 community sport and youth groups across the UK. The aim is that this will motivate SimplyMe users to look after themselves by simultaneously helping others too.

For every user that ‘checks in’ on their mood 10 times from their home screen in January 2021, Simplyhealth will add another GBP 5, thus giving a total of GBP 10 for Sported, per new user².

Catherine Rutland, Clinical Director at Simplyhealth, said: “2020 reinvented our relationship with our personal health. While employees are more cognisant than ever about the strains on their health and wellbeing, the pandemic continues to create additional challenges. Now more than ever, employers are seeing their staff grappling to juggle work and home life, and with the added uncertainty of further lockdown measures, stress and anxiety will likely increase. As we continue to navigate the pandemic throughout 2021, it is vital employee health and wellbeing is front of mind for organisations across the country.”

Romana Abdin, Chief Executive at Simplyhealth, added: “Our founding belief, nearly 150 years ago, was that good health is for everyone, and a key part of that is the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace. Employers have a large and important role to play in keeping their employees well every day. At Simplyhealth we are proud to make it easier for them to do this through their employee benefits offering.

“It is why we launched our free health and wellbeing app, SimplyMe in 2020; to help people take direct control of their everyday health,” Romana concluded.

To find out more about SimplyMe, visit or download the SimplyMe app via the App Store or Google Play Store.


¹Data used is based on a survey, conducted online by the healthcare research company, Opinion Health, amongst 2,000 people between 09.12.2020 and 16.12.2020. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of the British population aged 18 and over with a confidence interval of 2%. The survey explored 2020 and 2021 New Year’s Resolutions, how they have been impacted by COVID-19, and how people’s attitudes to their health and the healthcare systems have changed over the past year. The survey was commissioned by healthcare plan provider, Simplyhealth.

²Up to a maximum of 25,000 downloads and 25,000 check in donations in January 2021 only.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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