Hectic Brits lack quality 'me time'

Cancer Research UK

AROUND a fifth of Brits have an hour or less to themselves on a typical week day, according to the results of a survey published today.

“We’d encourage people to get to know their bodies so they’re more likely to spot any unusual changes. Making time for your health, like telling the doctor if you notice something different about your body, is really important" - Sarah Williams, Cancer Research UK

21 per cent of those surveyed said they had just 60 minutes or less to themselves each day, leaving little time for any rest and relaxation as work and family commitments take over.  Five per cent said they had no time to themselves at all.

The results come as part of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Spot Cancer Sooner’ campaign to encourage people to take time to look after themselves and their health, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis in the fight against cancer.

Sarah Williams, health information manager at Cancer Research UK said: “What we can see from the results is that people are busy. And when we’re busy with things like running a house, looking after our families and going to work, it can be harder to notice and act on any changes to our own bodies that could be early signs of cancer.”

When Brits do manage to get some precious time to themselves, watching TV is the most common pastime (72 per cent), followed by reading a book (48 per cent), and spending time with friends or family (40 per cent).  Over a third (36 per cent) check social media.  43 per cent of the women surveyed said they usually spend their spare time doing jobs around the house, such as cooking and cleaning, compared with 33 per cent of men.

And while 61 per cent of Brits said they felt relaxed when they had some time to themselves, almost one in ten (9 per cent) said they felt guilty.  Interestingly, men are more likely to feel relaxed in their free time (66 per cent) than women (58 per cent), and women are more than twice as likely to say they feel guilty (11 per cent) than men (5 per cent).

Only around half (52 per cent) of Brits said they talk to people other than healthcare professionals about their health, and women (58 per cent) are more likely to do so than men (43 per cent).

Sarah continues: “We’d encourage people to get to know their bodies so they’re more likely to spot any unusual changes. Making time for your health, like telling the doctor if you notice something different about your body, is really important. Usually it’s nothing to worry about, but spotting cancer sooner could save your life.”

Early diagnosis is one of the most powerful ways to improve cancer survival.  For further information about the ‘Spot Cancer Sooner’ campaign, information about signs and symptoms, or to speak with one of Cancer Research UK’s trained nurses, visit cruk.org/spotcancersooner

ENDS

For media enquiries contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8315 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

About the survey

The survey, commissioned by Cancer Research UK, was conducted online by Censuswide between 03/11/2015 and 09/11/2015, with 2,000 UK adults questioned.