One in four Brits have never had a health check

Lack of time, fear of results and cost concerns stop 27% of public from getting a health or fitness check

Although car owners are required to have their motor vehicles checked at least once a year, the UK public fails to give their own vehicles - their bodies - the same care, with more than a quarter of UK adults claiming to have never had their health or fitness levels checked by an expert.

The survey from retailer and car servicing and repairs experts, Halfords, found that as well as the 27% of Brits who have neglected to ever get their health or fitness checked, a further 32% of adults choose to visit an expert to analyse their health and fitness levels less often than once a year. 

The most common reasons people avoided health checks

1. Felt the check was unnecessary (23%)
2. Fear of the results (17%)
3. Lack of time available (13%)
4. Concerns about the cost (10%)

5. Embarrassment (5%)

Despite being an age group more likely to experience health concerns, one in three (30%) people aged 55-64, and one in four (25%) people aged over 65 have never had a health check. Those aged 25 – 30 were the most health-conscious group, with 80% of them claiming to have had at least one health check in their lives.  


Manchester was the most health-conscious city in the UK, with seven in ten (68%) adults having at least one health check in the last year, followed by 65% of people in both London and Birmingham. This is compared to almost half (48%) of people in Newcastle, 45% of people in Cardiff just one in four (42%) people in Liverpool.

The data also found that at the beginning of 2019, 40% of Brits did plan to book in a health check at some point during the year. However, in the 12 months that followed, 30% of them had never actually got around to going. 

Halfords Autocentres Managing Director, Andy Randall, commented on the findings: “Our survey shows that many of us don’t organise checks with a professional - to review our overall health and wellness - anywhere near as much as we do for our cars. Just like our motor vehicles, sometimes things may seem to be fine, and only after analysis by an expert, do we discover something may require further attention. 

“As we commence a new year, a time when our research revealed there is renewed determined to make positive changes in our lives, we’re urging Brits to look after their own health, both physical and mental, giving this as much, if not more attention than they would their car(s).”

Understanding your health

Our Medical Director, Dr Davina Deniszczyc, emphasised how important health checks are for everyone: “Health checks enable you to get a detailed picture of your health and identify the necessary interventions to prevent any issues worsening. While the survey found 23% of participants felt health checks were unnecessary, many health issues can go undetected without clinical tests, such as cholesterol or blood pressure. Taking part in a regular health check will allow you to benchmark and monitor your health, setting goals and reducing the impact of more serious health conditions.

“At Nuffield Health, we offer free Health MOTs to all our members, this provides the opportunity for members to sit down with a personal trainer to understand what their body needs and link that to their own targets/goals. Our personal trainers will then build a 12-week plan to help members reach their goal as quickly as possible. We recommend members have a Health MOT every three months, to monitor their progress and help keep them on track.”

Halfords’ new digital Lifestyle MOT test

To help the nation to live healthier and happier 2020, Halfords has teamed up with four fitness and wellness experts - a personal trainer, a competition-winning bodybuilder, a chartered psychologist, and an NHS GP - to deliver a new digital MOT test for the mind and body. The test involves 20 questions across four core categories and is designed to see how well we are doing inside and out. On completion of the test, which takes fewer than five minutes in total, Lifestyle MOTers will be given an overall pass/fail score plus recommendations or advisories to improve in their lowest-scoring category. 

Find out more about the Lifestyle MOT and complete the test yourself here.

Find out the full picture of your health

If you would like to find out more information on our range of health assessments which offer a comprehensive view of your health covering key health concerns such as diabetes, heart health, cancer risk and emotional wellbeing, please click here.



2,Halfords research was informed by a survey of 1,000 UK residents. Figures at each stage have been rounded to the nearest percentage. 

Last updated Friday 6 March 2020

First published on Thursday 20 February 2020