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What’s more expensive – to be fit and healthy, or to be unhealthy and ill?

Silly question? is it really? read on to hear what me and other people, like you think about it.

In clinic, I often ask people to consider changing their habits, such as smoking, drinking, eating rubbish & being sedentary. I’m often met with looks of polite indifference, mistrust and disdain, for making remarks about changing things people’s lives.

For some addictive traits are necessary to function adequately in their lives. It’s difficult to change the foundation for their ability to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.

But what about if I posed a different question? “How would you like to feel the best that you can feel and move freer than ever before? Would that be an incentive? The question comes across as ‘sales like’, but look for evidence in its meaning. The answers you find may be really quite surprising and appealing.

Osteopathy makes people move better & feel better

According to evidence provided by this research from the ‘Institute of Population Health Sciences, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry & University College of Osteopathy, London’. It was found that Osteopathy was able to provide patients with over 90% satisfaction just one week after treatment, with over 50% of patients feeling that they were “much improved“.

Osteopathy has been proven to increase patient satisfaction and subsequently, the patient’s pain levels. I think we can safely assume that this will lead to an increase in the patient’s general well being. They become more mobile and thus more healthy and the patient’s happiness with their new found physical freedom is noticeable.

But what about the financial cost – it’s something worth considering isn’t it? let’s look at that shall we?

The costs of poor habits vs good habits

First, lets look at the average annual costs of poor habits:

  • Average annual spend on cigarettes – £2,091 (10 a day) / £4,182 (20 a day) source
  • Average annual spend on alcohol – £998.40 source
  • Average annual spend on fast/junk food – £641 source
  • Average annual spend on medicine to counter the unhealthy lifestyle – £93.60 source
  • Average annual spend on various private medical treatments and/or therapies to counter the effects of sedentary lifestyles. This is variable depending upon what you need, the true costs can run into many thousands of pounds.
    Before you say – “but we’ve got the NHS! it’s free!”, erm, yes we do, sort of. Have you tried to get an appointment with your doctor lately? What about follow up treatments or physical therapy appointments? Don’t want to wait 6 months? we don’t blame you, neither would we.

Then let’s see the average annual costs of good habits:

Examples include taking care of yourself with fresh food, gentle exercise & some de-stressing Osteopathic or Cranial treatments here at Baks:

  • Average annual cost of exercise – Free: you can walk/run anywhere for free, plus body weight exercises and simple yoga/pilates routines are free via Youtube
  • Average annual costs of fresh fruit & vegetables – £316.16 per year source
  • Average annual spend on Osteopathic treatment – At Baks Osteopathy, for chronic pain, the average person needs approximately 4 – 6 sessions. Usually these are spread over a period of about 6 – 8 weeks. At the end of this time the person would expect to be feeling much improved/pain free. Sometimes a person requires less sessions & sometimes more depending upon the root cause of their symptoms. Treatment plan length also depends on how able you are to adhere to any ergonomic adjustment/exercise/stretching advice given at consultation.
    After this initial treatment period, you may choose to come in once every month to six weeks to continue to maintain a more mobile and thus more healthy body. You may choose not to of course and are free to come and go as you please (currently available from £60 as a new patient and £50 thereafter). Just ‘seeing how you go’ can suit some individuals and we would never pressure you to do otherwise. The fact is you can spend as little or as much as you want on your health, it really is up to you.
    However, if you do decide to take our professional advice on what is best for your body, then financially speaking, the average annual spend on private healthcare at Baks Osteopathy is currently available from just £560* per year which would include the necessary acute pain relief treatment/s plus a 4 – 6 weekly maintenance session.

Good value

When you look at the costs of private health treatments, that’s an incredibly cost effective way of looking after your health. Remember, prevention is far better for you than ‘cure’.

How much do you spend looking after your car by the way?….

So, back to the original question, ‘what’s more expensive – to be fit and healthy, or to be unhealthy and ill?’

In reality, the total spend on either lifestyle is very variable and difficult to work out, but suffice to say, it’s a lot more cost effective to take charge of your own health and make the most of preventive care. Utilising sound, fact based, well researched advice from us and other healthcare practitioners is a definite step in the right direction.

Pros & Cons of healthy lifestyle vs non healthy lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyleLeading an unhealthy lifestyle
ProsHigher energy levels & muscle/bone strengthEasy to do, no effort, good if you’re lazy.
Proven to give you an increased lifespan, enabling you to remain active throughout your life, helping others and enjoy all that life has to offerLots of people do it, so you can be ‘part of the crowd’
Less likely to develop debilitating conditions such as Heart disease, Diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia & stress related conditions such as depression & anxiety
Helps you to feel more relaxed
Very cost effective in comparison to private medical treatment
ConsRequires discipline from youMore likely to die sooner
May not be so ‘cool’ as and can require slightly more of your time than the alternativesMore likely to have poor physical health, including having low muscle strength, bone fragility, heart disease, Diabetes & high blood pressure
More likely to have poor mental health, including Dementia, stress, depression & anxiety
You become more of a burden to others as you age
Very expensive

*the total amount spent will depend upon how many sessions are required to get you out of acute pain and then what maintenance interval is appropriate for you own individual circumstances. Meaning, are you able to follow all the advice given during the session (certain stretches/exercises etc) if not, then you may need more intensive treatment sessions, so it really comes down to how much effort you want to put into taking care of yourself.

Baks Osteopathy Home » Baks Blog » General Health » Let’s talk about your health

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