Fitbrits: UK Flexes Wallet For Health And Fitness In 2019

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New data reveals Brits spent an average of more than £2,500 on health and fitness in 2019 – adding up to a whopping £211 per month  and 8% of the average UK salary – proving that health and wellbeing was a key priority for the nation last year.

The research, from health and life insurer Vitality and American Express, uncovers the nation’s health and fitness spending habits, after jointly launching the UK’s first credit card that rewards people for being physically active in November.

The most popular health and fitness purchases in 2019 included healthy food, with consumers spending £414 on average during the year, supplements such as vitamins and protein shakes (£218 on average) and gym/ active wear and accessories (£215 on average).

The research also indicates a growing appetite for more innovative health practices, with almost a third (32%) of respondents buying alternative products and therapies including Ayurveda, acupuncture and reiki – spending on average £14.26 per month on these in 2019 (£171 a year).

Generation health and fitness

Millennials (aged 25-35) were revealed as the biggest spenders in 2019, splashing out on average £365 a month (£4,378 a year) on health and fitness-related products. This was almost five times more than those aged over 55 who spent on average £74 a month (£889 a year).

The research also found Millennials were most likely to invest in digital health and fitness programmes including apps, DVDs and online subscriptions, spending an average of £315 in 2019, and highlighting the impact of these channels on people’s interaction with health and fitness.

New year, new you

The nation’s quest for health and fitness shows no signs of abating in 2020, with two in five (44%) respondents admitting that they are likely to spend more on keeping themselves fit and healthy this year. Key spending drivers include concern about their weight (23%), a desire to improve their mental health or reduce stress (22%) and concern about their level of fitness (20%).

And for those lacking the drive to sustain their healthy habits, almost a fifth (17%) of people believe in giving themselves rewards to help keep their motivation high.

Nick Read, Managing Director of the Vitality Programme at Vitality said:

“This is the most popular time of the year for people to set out their good intentions, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes motivation year-round.

“It’s great to see that people are happy to invest a significant proportion of their monthly outgoings on keeping fit and well. However, whilst buying the latest gadget can help people on their way to achieve their goals, at Vitality, we believe that its consistent healthy behaviours and a balanced approach to living well that will ultimately help keep us all live healthier lives for longer.”

Stacey Sterbenz, Vice President at American Express added:

“Health and fitness products and services have become a key staple of everyday spending, as consumers put a greater focus on looking after their health.

However, it’s important to remember that there are ways to spend wisely when it comes to getting fit and healthy. Through our partnership with Vitality, consumers have the chance to earn cashback for their activity – whether that’s walking the dog in the park, going to a gym class or running a marathon.”