Recession affecting the health of the nation

The economic downturn is having a negative impact on many people's health, according to a new study.

Prudential's bi-annual Vitality Index found that the overall health of the nation has dropped by two points since last summer.

The findings, which were based on factors such as stress, exercise, smoking and diet, were attributed partly to the ongoing recession.

Prudential has therefore urged people in the UK to consider their health and take positive action such as doing more exercise.

However, PruHealth chief executive Shaun Matisonn admitted that finding a way to motivate a change in lifestyle is the "biggest hurdle".

"We need to find a way of helping people to stop thinking about what they should be doing for their health and actually doing it," he commented.

Mr Matisonn said taking action now would help to prevent illness, rather than lead to people being diagnosed with a problem later on.

This comes after Age Concern and Help the Aged warned that all sections of society have been hit by the recession, as over 50s are "by no means immune" to its effects.

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