How has COVID-19 affected us?

Healthy Living > Community > How has COVID-19 affected our health, communities and the NHS?

Blog article | By Simplyhealth 28 January 2021

2020 was the year that no one expected. Yet, we made it through and now we remain hopeful for a better and brighter 2021.

At the end of 2020, Simplyhealth ran a survey with 2,000 people from across the UK, to see what the effects of COVID-19 were moving into the New Year, not only on our physical and mental health, but also on how we view our communities and the impact on the NHS.

The survey said...

It’s no surprise that our survey1 revealed that 2020 has had a major impact on people’s attitudes to their health, with 1 in 5 (19%) Brits admitting the pandemic encouraged them to take better care of their health/lifestyle. Further, 3 in 5 (61%) state COVID-19 has influenced their 2021 New Year Resolutions.

With 30 million British people taking on at least one health-related New Year’s Resolution this January to “do their bit” for their health, their community and the NHS, almost 2 in 3 (63%) said they will focus on setting realistic and attainable goals to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions in 2021.

Impact on the NHS

Coronavirus has put enormous strains on the NHS like we have never seen before. As a nation, we were told by our government to ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ to help slow the spread of the virus.

This message rings true, with a whopping 83% of our respondents believing that individuals have a “responsibility to take better care of their health” to support the NHS in 2021. Half of those surveyed (50%) hope their 2021 resolutions will offer long-term positive benefits to the NHS and public healthcare services. Additionally, 77% of respondents would make small lifestyle changes now if they knew it would help relieve NHS pressure in the long-term.


1. Data used is based on a survey, conducted online by the healthcare research company, Opinion Health, amongst 2,000 people between 09.12.2020 and 16.12.2020. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of the British population aged 18 and over with a confidence interval of 2%. The survey explored 2020 and 2021 New Year’s Resolutions, how they have been impacted by COVID-19, and how people’s attitudes to their health and the healthcare systems have changed over the past year. The survey was commissioned by healthcare plan provider, Simplyhealth.

2. Up to a maximum of 25,000 downloads and 25,000 check in donations in January 2021 only.