November 14, 2020 2 min read

Tonic recently conducted a survey with over 2000 people across the UK to get a better idea of the nation's understanding of immunity, as well as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their immune systems, and the steps they are taking to remedy this.   

The results are as follows: 

Across the UK as a whole,

  • 75% of 16-34 year-olds report a weakened immune system since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
  • 85% of over-55s are worried about a second wave of coronavirus but 59% admit they're doing nothing to strengthen their immunity
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of people have high stress levels
  • 38% of people said they don't know what vitamins and minerals are in foods, and a quarter (25%) said they didn't realise their immune system needed different levels of support
In London,
  • Nearly two thirds (62%) of people have reported symptoms of low immune health since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Nearly half (45%) of people say the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, and 38% on their physical health

In Manchester,

  • Two thirds (67%) of people have reported symptoms of low immune health since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

In Liverpool,

  • Over half (56%) of people reported symptoms of low immune health since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Over a quarter (26%) have constant low energy or lethargy
  • 47% of people say the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, and 45% on their physical health
  • Half (51%) of people are taking active steps to strengthen their immunity

Just over half (53%) of Brits are taking steps to strengthen their immunity at the moment; across the UK, the following are the steps being taken: 

 

UK as a whole

London

Manchester

Liverpool

Exercise

45%

43%

41%

44%

Getting 5 portions of fruit and vegetables

39%

48%

38%

41%

Vitamin supplements

37%

37%

38%

39%

Plenty of sleep

38%

33%

40%

33%

Water as the first drink of the day

30%

30%

28%

32%

Limiting sugar intake

31%

32%

28%

25%

Managing stress levels

21%

22%

19%

19%

Taking prebiotics / probiotics

14%

15%

11%

15%

Taking a liquid vitamin supplement

15%

18%

15%

10%

Having a cold shower every morning

7%

8%

8%

8%

 

Dr Gemma Newman said: “The Tonic Health survey shows people really need a proactive approach in terms of aiding their recovery. It’s also worrying to see there’s been a spike in young people experiencing weakened immunity symptoms since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and that so many over 55s don’t feel the need to strengthen their immunity. It’s more important now than ever before that people are more proactive about their immune health.

“Taking paracetamol and cold and flu remedies when you feel ill is just like putting a plaster over a wound, as they simply mask symptoms. A lot of these products contain sugar which actually weakens immune health and could extend the life of common viruses. Ideally we would find all the vitamins and minerals we need in foods, but these days and with our busy lives that’s rarely possible. Supplementing with vitamins such as vitamins C, D and zinc is a good strategy when you feel under the weather.”