With the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 a distant memory for many, Irish people have continued to prioritise their personal health in 2023, according to the latest findings from Core’s HEALTH 23 research report.
Since 2016, Core Research has annually asked a representative sample of 1,000 adults, about how they manage their health. Three-quarters of the population believe they are healthy, and while behaviours and attitudes in some areas have changed over these years, people in Ireland continue to be conscious of what they eat, when they exercise and how they manage their emotional well-being.
According to the report’s author, Christopher Keane, research executive, Core Research “these three areas of health management inform Core’s HEALTH 23 report and allow the population to be broken into various groups. Firstly, there are the active groups, who also monitor their diet. 18% of adults are active every day, while a further 35% are active a few times a week. Both groups are also conscious of their diet and eating habits. While the size of these combined groups has declined from 60% in 2022 to 53% in 2023, they remain to be the dominant group. When we consider a further 24% of adults who aren’t too interested in monitoring their diet, but are exercising regularly, it is safe to say the Irish nation are an active population, while there is room to improve in our food and well-being habits.”
Accessibility in Exercise is Key in 2023.
With many people feeling the inflationary pinch and attempting to deal with day-to-day cost-of-living pressures, Keane says “sport and fitness activities have come under budgetary pressures, however many have prioritised their health as part of their wealth in 2023. Accessible activities like daily walking, swimming, hiking, and cycling all have strong participation rates across most age groups. Safety for women (particularly in running and cycling) may be a concern and has had an impact on the number of women running over the past year – with one in three women not running compared to 2022.”
Keane says that people under the age of 35, despite rising costs, are protecting their gym memberships, yoga classes or time with personal trainers. “Exercise is a main coping tactic for many managing their mental health. In addition, we have seen various tools which people have learnt to use over the past decade of this research study,” he says.
“In Core’s PREDICT 23 report, we revealed the gap between physical health management and well-being management, with only 44% of the population stating they would talk to friends about their emotions. In HEALTH 23. the report reveals that 63% of people are ‘content’ or ‘thriving in life,’ while 37% are ‘surviving’ or ‘very anxious.’ In terms of sharing these challenges, 39% of people say they find it difficult to share with someone close to them,” Keane says.
“The nation is also divided between half who are experiencing negative emotions such as stress, sadness or hopelessness and the other half experiencing positive emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, or enjoyment. Core’s analysis of these various moods of the nation also highlights the impact screen time has on our wellbeing and reveals the coping tactics of the most resilient people in our society,” he adds.
“Effective well-being tactics include a good night’s sleep, cooking and eating well and having a supportive and fun social network. These areas are worth considering for any brand hoping to improve the lives of people in Ireland. Helping people to rest and recover more, to enjoy quality food and most importantly, providing moments for people to connect and enjoy socialising are all spaces which brands in Ireland should consider in 2023,” Keane concludes.
To obtain a copy of the report click HERE