When was the last time you gave your body the once over? If you haven’t done this in a long while, you are not alone. New research has revealed that a third of Brits are not checking themselves as much as medically recommended, leaving them at risk of treatable health conditions.

Survey reveals Brits more likely to MOT their car than their body image
The research from a leading insurer has also found that people are much likely to look over their car than they are to check their own body for signs of conditions such as breast cancer or testicular cancer. Keep reading to find out more.

Brits checking their cars far more often than their bodies

A study of over 2,000 adults has found that a third (33 per cent) are not checking themselves for serious illnesses as much as medical experts recommend.

The research has found that men are much less likely to check themselves for signs of serious illness than women with nearly a fifth (17 per cent) admitting to never checking their body for treatable conditions.

Worryingly, the survey found that 91 per cent of motorists check their vehicles for wear and tear at least once a year while nearly a third of these (29 per cent) fail to check their own bodies in the same 12 month period.

With many critical illnesses being treatable if caught early, two thirds (62 per cent) of British adults admitted that they did not know how to perform a self-health check at home. Just one in three men (32 per cent) said that they knew how to check for lumps while 43 per cent of women were comfortable with undertaking their own health check.

BBC Health Check presenter Dr Ayan Panja said: “The figures don’t necessarily surprise me, although they are significant. Men are often told to man up and just crack on with things when they’re feeling ill. There are lots of reasons and, to be fair, things are improving but they are still around twice less likely to visit the doctor than a woman.

“Of course, there is no right answer to self-examination: for instance, there is no evidence that breast self-examination saves lives, but it is important to be breast aware.

“Looking out for changes in any body part or system is an ongoing process and a good time to do it may be when you’re having a bath or shower. The basic rule of the Body MOT is that if something looks or feels out of the ordinary to you, get it checked out.”

Online service helps you to identify what to look for in a self-health check

The BBC’s online Body MOT tells users to identify what to look for and understand causes of irregularities on eleven body parts; head, eyes, mouth, neck, chest, urinary, arms and legs, abdomen, testicles, breasts and skin.

Matthew Gledhill, Managing Director at the insurer who commissioned the research, said: “The research showing that people aren’t checking themselves as regularly as they should be isn’t altogether surprising as we see a similar trend with people taking out life insurance – there is sometimes a tendency to put it off or have a belief that ‘it won’t happen to us’.

“Our Body MOT guides people on how to check for signs of critical illnesses and what to do if you spot anything unusual, and with us you can get critical illness cover in just ten minutes online meaning your family will be financially protected if anything happens to you.”