Meditation is Brits’ most popular wellbeing therapy

29 January 2019 . International

In today’s 24/7, ‘always on’ culture, it’s no surprise that people are seeking out new ways to release tension and unwind. Alternative and holistic therapies can support people’s everyday resilience, potentially reduce stress, and complement more conventional forms of treatment. Bupa Global has published new data uncovering the favourite wellbeing therapies of the UK population, from international research.

  • Global research shows over a quarter (26%) of UK adults have used meditation as a therapy
  • Men (30%) double down on the road to enlightenment, practicing meditation almost twice as much as women (18%)
  • Premium health insurance provider Bupa Global sees 32% increase in demand for alternative therapies globally 
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The research shows that meditation is the UK’s favourite form of wellbeing therapy, with over a quarter (26%) of UK adults saying they have meditated as a way to improve their mental wellbeing in the past five years. Men are doubling down on the road to enlightenment, with almost a third of men (30%) practicing meditation in this time period compared to 18% of women.

As awareness of the importance of mental health increases, the research found that counselling and psychotherapy are the second most popular type of wellbeing therapy, with 15% of UK adults participating in these in the past five years, although this belies a generational gap, as a fifth (20%) of 18-34-year olds have undergone some form of mental health therapy, compared to just 5% of over 55-year olds.

Acupuncture and homeopathy were the third (17%) and fourth (11%) most popular therapies, with Chinese Medicine the last on the list (7%). Unsurprisingly, the number of users of Chinese medicine was much higher in China (45%), followed closely by Hong Kong (42%). Overall, Bupa Global has observed a 32% increase in demand from its customers globally for alternative therapies over the past two years.

Dr. Søren Carstens MD, Head of Clinical Operations at Bupa Global, says: “We all lead busy and stressful lives, so making time for our mental and physical health can often be put on the backburner. Work, family and other pressures can often mean that your wellbeing takes second place. But if you had an expensive car, you’d service it every year to keep it running smoothly. We should treat our bodies and minds with the same consideration; alternative and holistic therapies, whilst not a replacement for traditional medicine, can offer additional peace of mind, which is so important when it comes to increasing your sense of health and wellbeing.”

Top five wellbeing therapies in the UK

Brits’ most popular wellbeing therapy

*Percentage of UK population who have used this therapy in the last five years

About the research

Research of 8,000 adults globally across the USA, UK, China, Egypt, the UAE, Mexico, Hong Kong and France. Commissioned by Opinium between April and May 2018.

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world.

We are an international healthcare company serving over 31 million customers worldwide. With no shareholders, we reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

We directly employ around 85,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Chile, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, the US, Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

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