Londoners Feeling More Ill Than Ever Before

Half of Londoners Feeling More Ill Than Ever Before and Are Struggling to Recover as Winter Bug Hits Offices 


The cold and flu bug has hit Londoners so hard that more than two million had to take the first week of the year off, with over half a million (508,237) still not back at work on January 10th, new research has found.

The findings from INEOS Hygienics, makers of hospital-grade hand sanitiser and high-performance hand wash, show that this winter Londoners were hit hard by illness, with over a half [51%] saying they have been ‘the most sick they have ever been’, while one in two [50%] state they have been ‘struggling to fully recover and get back to full strength’.

Findings from the research show that 46% confess to neglecting hand hygiene habits, which have well and truly ‘gone out of the window’ since pandemic restrictions were lifted, while 63% admit they often forget to wash or sanitise their hands after coughing, sneezing, or touching a contaminated surface.

Nearly half [48%] of Brits agree they are not firing on all cylinders health-wise, stating they have been ‘struggling to fully recover and get 100% back to full strength’, which has made going back to work all the more challenging this year, according to the study commissioned by the UK’s fastest-growing hygiene provider INEOS Hygienics.

Despite feeling utterly rotten. A level of accountability has emerged from the report…

Almost half [49%] of Londoners blame themselves for falling ill this winter, with the main behavioural culprits revealed as care-free socialising [36%], poor hand hygiene [29%], poor diet [25%] and excess alcohol [18%] on the run-up to and over the festive season.

A huge majority, 85 per cent, are worried about falling ill again this winter with the bug that ‘feels like covid but isn’t’.

According to the research, Christmas Day was cancelled for more than half a million Londoners (539,930), and New Year plans were quashed for over 476,000, as people all over the country grappled with festive lurgies.

Even TikTok has amassed over 94.8 million views for the hashtag ‘cold and flu season’ [#coldandfluseason], alongside an influx of videos entitled and captioned ‘I’ve never been so ill in my life’.

Experts have put the mass wave of winter illnesses down to a concoction of cold temperatures, indoor mixing, waned mask wearing and less attention to ventilation and hand hygiene.

Two million (2,062,032) London workers started the new year on the back foot, having to take the entire first week of the year off work, struck down with everything from sickness bugs, covid, coughs, headaches, and general flu-like symptoms, with over half a million (508,237) still not back at work by January 10th.

More recent reports have seen health chiefs urge the country to wear face masks to reduce the spread of winter illnesses, as the UK faces shortages of cold and flu medicines with Calpol and Lemsip in high demand, resulting in shops and pharmacies running out.

“With stars globally clamouring to re-enact the viral hands dance from Tim Burton’s ‘Wednesday’, never has there been a better moment to put our palms and fingers back on the podium health wise again” said Fran Millar, CEO of INEOS Hygienics. 

“Over three quarters [85%] of Londoners fear falling sick again this winter. So, if handwashing fatigue has set in in your household, it’s worth remembering that just 30 seconds of it regularly can help mitigate feeling under the weather for weeks. With reports of hospitalisations on the rise and increased pressure on the NHS, we need to act quickly to help protect ourselves and the people around us. Keeping our hands clean and sanitised is one of the most effective routes we can take to prevent getting sick and stop the spread of viruses and bacteria.”

In the week ending 7th January 2023, INEOS Hygienics witnessed a 43 percent uplift in sales across its entire hand hygiene portfolio compared to the previous week, highlighting that Brits are increasingly investing in preventative health once again.

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