A new study conducted on behalf of a UK-based medical website has revealed that three quarters of the British public will risk their health by not going to doctors appointments because of work commitments or being too busy within their careers. Furthermore, the study revealed that the sectors most likely to risk their health because of their work commitments was those working in marketing and the media, construction workers and food and hospitality professionals.
In a bid to discover more about how seriously Britons take their health and how much of a priority it is, a new piece of research undertaken on behalf of an online pharmaceutical company has revealed how often the average Briton will risk their health because of other commitments and which sectors sacrifice workers health the most.
A survey conducted by www.MedExpress.co.uk polled a total of 2,129 UK based adults, aged 18-65, for the purposes of the study. Each participant stated they were in full time work and were asked a series of questions to discover how high health ranks in terms of their everyday lives.
Respondents were initially asked when the last time they had visited their local doctors surgery for an appointment with a nurse of their GP, with the average length of time emerging as eight months. Following this participants were asked how long they had waited to be seen by their doctor last time they booked an appointment. 62 per cent of individuals revealed that they had to wait over two weeks to be seen for reassurance and answers related to their health concerns. These individuals were then asked if the doctor’s appointment was even needed after waiting two weeks, with 18 per cent admitting that they cancelled their appointment as they were better or the problem had disappeared by the time they were due to see the doctor.
Continuing on from this, participants were asked if they have ever had to cancel or decline offered appointments due to other commitments, with 90 per cent stating that they had previously done so. These respondents were asked to provide the most common reason they’d had to cancel an appointment. Over three quarters (76 per cent) stated they had work commitments that they could not get out of, whilst 19 per cent stated childcare prevented them from visiting the doctors.
Following this, all individuals taking part in the study were asked how often they found themselves having to miss doctor’s appointments because of work commitments, with the average participants revealing that they’d missed an average of 3 appointments within the past year. Furthermore, 22 per cent of participants who’d missed an appointment due to work commitments admitted that they’d had a problem that would’ve needed immediate treatment and became more serious.
Participants were then asked if they had ever left prescriptions uncollected with 59 per cent stating they had; 72 per cent of these individuals stated it was due to their pharmacy only being open during work hours.
To understand which professions were most likely to sacrifice their health because of their job, those who missed appointments and couldn’t pick up prescriptions were asked what industry they worked in. The top 5 sectors that effectively choose to put their job first over their health were revealed as follows:
1. Marketing and media- (14 per cent)
2. Construction- (8 per cent)
3. Food and hospitality- (8 per cent)
4. Healthcare- (6 per cent)
5. Education- (3 per cent)
Micheal Ross, spokesperson for MedExpress.co.uk, stated: “Work is obviously an extremely important aspect of our lives; it is after all our primary source of income and allows us to contribute to society. However sacrificing something as important as your health can be detrimental and will no doubt have a negative effect on your career in the long term.
“Bosses and those in charge should be more lenient with time spent off for health reasons. People cannot help being ill and should be able to seek medical help when they need it and definitely should not feel forced to have to wait to see if their body starts mending itself. The most shocking fact we learnt from these findings is that even healthcare professionals risk their own health because of their long working hours and inability to get time off. These people should always take into consideration that for those with particularly hectic lives, there are services for existing prescriptions to be delivered to you so you don’t further risk your well-being.”