Fitness pledges falter by 1 February

Article date: 21 January 2011

  • 73% of Britons vow to get fit in 2011
  • Yet over half (56%) admit that they have failed on previous attempts
  • Most New Year resolutions are broken by 1 February.

New research from Aviva shows that nearly three in four people (73%) have started the New Year committing to get fit. But the vast majority (80%) admit that their past attempts to make positive changes to their lifestyle had failed by the end of January1.

The 2011 New Year, New You report from Aviva UK Health reveals that losing weight (72%), eating more healthily (61%), exercising more (68%), managing stress (23%) and cutting back on alcohol (18%) top the New Year’s resolutions list.

Motivation factors vary considerably:

  • 50% have put on weight or drunk too much over the Christmas period
  •  Around one in six (16%) of people said that they want to get fit and healthy to avoid catching the flu
  • 21% are working towards a defined goal such as training for a marathon or slimming for their holiday
  • And, 31% say that they know they ought to make a change to their lifestyle and the New Year is simply a good time to start.

Although most (56%) say that their New Year’s resolve is currently still intact, 30% admit that they are already struggling. And, one in 10 (11%) have given up on their goals already. Arguably, the 21% who are working towards a defined goal have the greatest chance of success.

Sally Gunnell, Olympic athlete and ambassador for Aviva explains: “The New Year is an obvious time to ring the changes in your life but people should be thinking about how they can look after their health for the long-term. We often fall into the trap of trying to do everything at once, rather than making small changes and setting ourselves achievable goals. If healthy eating is your priority then look to eat more fruit and veg, cut back on sugar and swap non-healthy snacks for healthy ones. Swap alcoholic drinks for non-alcoholic versions. And, if you are planning to do more exercise, set yourself an action plan with achievable goals.”   

To help make 2011 different, Aviva is also supporting Change4Life’s Great Swapathon. This is a new campaign that will encourage everyone to make small, specific and manageable swaps to help them eat more healthily and be more active. More information on healthy living and access to the Swapathon can be found on Change4Life’s website,

Aviva offers a range of health-related support and advice on its website. This includes information on nutrition and health tools such as a BMI calculator and calorie counter. The site also includes a regular blog from Sally Gunnell where she shares her insights and offers helpful tips on how to set realistic goals


If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Amber Chable: Aviva Press Office 
02380 359383

1 Unless otherwise stated, the nationwide survey of 1,000 British adults in employment was carried out for Aviva by market researchers OnePoll. The opinion poll was hosted online at between the 10 and 11 January 2011 and was available to its registered members.       

Notes to editors:

About Change4Life
Aviva is supporting Change4Life by promoting Change4Life messages that align with its MyHealthCounts programme to its customers. MyHealthCounts is an innovative health management service which encourages Aviva’s health insurance customers to lead a healthier lifestyle which could lead to discounts on their individual premiums at renewal.

Aviva is also supporting Change4Life through its position as the number one sponsor of UK Athletics. As well as supporting the Aviva GB & NI Team athletes in both competition and training, Aviva is providing opportunities for every child in the UK to get involved in athletics through the Aviva Athletics Academy. These programmes, supporting both elite and grassroots sport, showcase Aviva’s ambition to help improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.               

Change4Life is a groundbreaking movement bringing government, community groups, health workers, teachers, and businesses together. Its shared goal is to help everyone eat well, move more and live longer. Since its launch in January 2009, over 436,000 families have signed up to Change4Life. For more information visit 

About Aviva

Aviva is one of the world's largest insurance groups* with 53 million customers worldwide and 46,000 employees.

Aviva’s main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion*.

In the UK, Aviva takes care of its 19.2 million customers by helping them look after their future, protecting what’s important – from their health to their homes, their cars to their business – and saving for the future.

Aviva has a 10.5%** share of the UK life and pensions market and insures one in six homes and one in 10 cars in the UK. It is also one of the oldest UK insurers, with a heritage stretching back more than 300 years.

RAC, which is owned by Aviva, provides breakdown and insurance services for individuals and businesses and has around seven million customers.

Aviva is carbon neutral worldwide, and is ranked in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In the UK, Aviva invested £3.8 million into local communities in 2009. Read our corporate responsibility report at

Aviva are proud to be the numberone sponsor of British athletes since 1999 and are committed to developing the sport at every level, from playground to podium.   In 2011 we will host six world class athletics events on home soil – the Aviva Series, and support the Aviva GB & NI junior, senior and Paralympics teams as they prepare for all major events and championships. Through the Aviva Athletics Academy, it is anticipated that by 2012 we will have given every child in the UK the opportunity to get involved in athletics.

Aviva’s global Street to School programme is working in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to get children living on the streets back into education and everyday life. Find out more at

The Aviva media centre at includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

** Source: ABI data released August 2010

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