Those who know their health stats more likely to succeed reveals new study

New data released today by Nuffield Health reveals those who have regular fitness checks are more likely to achieve health goals such as reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index. The study looked at data from adult gym members who had two health check-ups over a 12 month period and compared them to those who had three.

Coinciding with National Fitness Day (7 September), the data shows that those who have three health check-ups in a year are 17 per cent more likely to reduce their cholesterol, 18 per cent more likely to reduce their diastolic blood pressure (3.4 per cent for systolic) and 24 per cent more likely to lower their body mass index (BMI) than those who have two health check-ups. Those who had three health check-ups made a bigger impact, reducing their BMI by nearly twice that of those who had two (-1.93 per cent versus -3.84 per cent).

Nuffield Health Behavioural Scientist Sophie Attwood said: “These results show a positive trend associated with those who more regularly have their health and fitness measured. For those trying to achieve health and fitness improvements, setting goals and seeing positive results can be a significant motivator.”

The biggest change was seen with waist size, with those who had three health check-ups over 12 months 30 per cent more likely to reduce the number of inches around their waist and had a 79 per cent greater reduction in girth than those who had only two (-2.47 per cent versus -4.40 per cent).

Rick Crawford, Nuffield Health Fitness Director said: “The results showed, importantly, an average reduction in health risk factors. If you carry fat around your waist you’re at a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As a rule, a waist size of over 40 inches for a man or 35 inches for a woman poses a health risk.[1] A reduction of waist size in these cases has a positive impact on health.”

Nuffield Health analysed data from 748 adult gym goers who had two or three health check-ups within a 52 week period and a BMI over 18.5. The gap between the first and final health check-up was 244–365 days. The average BMI at the beginning of the period was 27.2 for those who went on to have two health checks within a year and 27.3 who had three.

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[1] Public Health England. Adult obesity and type 2 diabetes.  Accessed August 2016 

Last updated Tuesday 25 May 2021

First published on Wednesday 7 September 2016