Winter is bad for your health and appearance, study claims

  25 November 2018    Read: 984
Winter is bad for your health and appearance, study claims

Winter is bad for your health, appearance and your sex life, according to a new poll of 2,000 adults, many of whom said the cold and dark winter months result in an increase in illness, a lower mood and an overall lack of motivation.

One in 20 of the survey's respondents said their sex life suffered in the winter. Others claimed they had less energy, struggled to wake up and had sore and achy joints and muscles. 

Many admitted they were more likely to eat unhealthy or sugary foods than in the summer months.

“This shows that many of us do feel down in the dumps when the weather turns colder and days get shorter," said Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist on behalf of wellbeing brand Healthspan, which commissioned the research. "Some of this may be due to the lack of daylight and perceived unpleasantness of being out and about in the wind and rain.

"And of course, there are more coughs and colds during winter months which affect both how we feel physically and our mood. But the heartening aspect of this survey is that over a quarter of respondents state they take active steps to protect their health and wellbeing in winter.

"This is the key to good health as we may not be able to control the weather, but we can control how we think and feel and take action to improve our overall outlook.”

Forty-one per cent of the survey's respondents said that they were more affected by colds and flu during the winter months, while 31 per cent believed they suffer more from dry skin.

Three in 10 said they had less energy and felt more tired, while 22 per cent believed they were more likely to gain weight than they are in the summer.

Almost six in 10 said their mood is generally lower in winter than at any other time of the year, with 66 per cent blaming the dark morning and evenings.

Half of those polled said they were more likely to be ill in winter than any other time of year, experiencing on average two colds and two days off work from September to February.

Over 40 per cent said they are more motivated to exercise in the summer months. More than half said that their diet changes in the winter months, with two thirds turning to comfort food. 

But 27 per cent said they do take extra steps to safeguard their health and appearance as the temperature drops. 


The Independent

The Independent

Half of those polled said they take health supplements and use extra moisturiser to combat dry skin, 33 per cent go to bed earlier and 23 per cent try to improve their diet.

Dr Brewer said: Diet should always come first, so focus on obtaining at least five-a-day fruit and veg for immune boosting vitamin C, plus two servings of oily fish per week for omega 3 and vitamin D. Clinical trials show that sucking zinc acetate lozenges significantly reduces symptoms of the common cold compared with placebo.

"Taking zinc and vitamin C tablets to prevent colds is also a popular strategy during winter months."


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