‘Women putting health at risk by putting others first’

South East women are jeopardising their health, by putting everyone else’s needs first, according to a new study.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 6th January 2013, 11:13 am

The study of 2,000 people examined health priorities of the public and found that women delay seeking help for serious health concerns because they prioritise their family’s wellbeing over their own.

It revealed that one in three women admits to ‘pushing through‘ an illness, with many insisting their partners would simply be unable to cope should they fall ill.

The research, which was commissioned by health site allabouthealth.org.uk, revealed two thirds of women have spent nearly two months worrying about a health issue without getting it checked out.

Allabouthealth.org.uk pharmacist Ajit Malhi said: “Women are running around looking after everyone else and forgetting to look after number one.

“We need to take care of ourselves to effectively take care of the people we love. It’s similar to the aeroplane scenario where you’re told to put your own oxygen mask on first, which clashes with our initial instinct.

“If you feel on top form then you’re better equipped to look after the rest of the family.”

The research revealed that four in 10 women have delayed seeking professional help even though they thought something serious was wrong with them.

Nearly half pushed through an illness because they were too busy with a third refusing to acknowledge their illness because they needed to look after the kids.

One in eight was convinced their partner would be unable to cope if they were ill.

The fear factor also proved an issue with one in five stalling because they were scared about what they might find out.

In fact, a third of women seek medical advice purely as a last resort and four in ten confessed they only seek medical help after they’ve been nagged constantly by a partner.

One in three say that when it comes to getting ill, they ‘grin and bear it’ for the sake of the family.

Tellingly, half of the 1,000 women studied had not taken a sick day in the last 12 months.

That’s despite the average woman enduring at five seven days in the last year when she has needed to take a day to get better but was forced to persevere and carry on as usual.

Two thirds of women don’t seek help when experiencing trouble sleeping, and half would not seek help for stress as they strive to keep the family ticking over.

A third of women don’t think it’s worth seeking medical help should they be experiencing symptoms of depression.

Ajit Malhi added: “Too often we neglect health decisions, whether through busyness with the family or work but it’s crucial to stop sometimes and find out answers to those health niggles rather than simply pushing through which serves neither them nor their family well.”