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Study reveals the average Brit's lifetime of ailments, sickness and injury

28th May 2012

The average Brit suffers an astonishing 9,672 ailments, sickness and injury in their lifetime - it emerged yesterday following a study by the leading mutual health & wellbeing organisation, Benenden Healthcare Society.

From regular headaches or constant back pain to never ending bumps and bruises, sickly Brits experience 124 incidents of ill health each and every year.

At least three sore throats, four cases of heartburn and four cricked necks every 12 months feature on the list of suffering, which shows 9,672 ailments are endured across the average 78 year lifespan. Five cuts, five cramps, and six upset stomachs mean the average person experiences a bout of pain almost once every three days.

The study of 2,000 people found Brits endure 858 headaches and 780 sore backs in their lifetime.

Ali Curtis, Outpatient Services Manager at Benenden Hospital in Kent, said: ‘This survey highlights the fact that we really need to try to look after ourselves better. Our health and wellbeing is extremely important and while few people would be lucky enough go through life with no aches or pains there are some illnesses and ailments we can avoid by simply taking better care of ourselves.

‘My advice would be to eat healthily and to take regular exercise to stay fit and well. Washing hands regularly can help us to avoid picking up some germs, good posture can help us to avoid back problems and regular health checks could catch a problem early. We should all make health a priority.

‘Do visit your GP if you suffer more than most with sore throats, stomach upsets or with any kind of pain. This could indicate that something more serious is wrong.’

We can expect two shaving cuts and three stubbed toes each year, while any complaining will be muted by biting our tongue three times and losing our voice at least once annually.

The figures are literally shocking for Brits, who can expect an unwelcomed buzz of electricity once a year, while three paper cuts, two pulled muscles and two stitches add to the list of yearly injury woe. We’ll also face 78 nosebleeds in our life time, trip over 234 times and grimace through 156 bouts of blisters.

The news will be difficult to hear for Brits who experience 156 cases of ear ache in their lifetime and tricky reading with the 78 eye infections we will be forced to endure.

The average person has three hospital visits, two occasions where they’ll need stitches and two surgeries they’ll have to undergo in their lifetime. We’ll also need to watch our steps to avoid the two ankle sprains we can expect, while statistically we’ll also break at least one bone. The average person will also battle themselves back to fitness from at least eight viruses.

An accident prone one in four Brits describes themselves as clumsy, while four in ten have trodden on a plug. Half the study has banged their head getting out of the car, a quarter has been bitten by their pet and the same number has gone to sit down and completely missed their seat.

Lawrence Christensen, Head of Communications & Strategy at Benenden Healthcare said: ‘Even without the threat of serious health conditions, the average human body takes an awful battering day-to-day, which demonstrates why life just isn’t designed to be easy. 

‘Suffering, for example, an average of three sore throats, five cramps and six upset stomachs a year highlights the importance of looking after and maintaining one’s health & wellbeing. It also shows that we can’t afford to be flippant about our health and that we must make it a priority.

‘Whilst it’s unnecessary to suddenly develop a hypochondriac attitude to life, be sure to visit your GP if you do feel you are experiencing higher-than-average occurrences of ailments such as sore throats, stomach upsets and back pain. These can be symptoms in themselves of more serious underlying health conditions.’

A particularly unlucky one in twenty claim they’ve slipped on a banana skin, while the same number has trodden on a rake.

And finally, a damaging dancing-related injury occurs for a less than nimble one in ten.