Wales tops the list of health-related New Year’s resolutions


Wales has a long list of traditions surrounding celebrating a new year, with “first footing”, Hen Galan and everything in between.

The traditions are a way to embrace history, to be thankful for the past year, and, for many, to look forward to a fresh start.

Welsh traditions such as Mari Lwyd almost disappeared in the 1900s but have made their way back all over Wales and stand as a testament to the enduring spirit of community and celebration in Welsh heritage.

New Year’s resolutions also have a long history, dating back 2000 years with historical religious ties, but has become something that anyone can use as a motivator and perhaps start positive habits for the new year.

Heart Bingo compared research and survey data on resolutions and compared Wales to the rest of the UK and New Year’s resolutions for 2024.

Are New Year’s resolutions a generational commitment?

The analysis of New Year’s resolutions across generations in the UK reveals a clear pattern: the likelihood of making resolutions decreases with age.

In 2023, 23% of Generation Z respondents expressed their intention to set resolutions. However, this figure gradually declines among older generations, with 22% for 43 – 50-year-olds and only six percent for people over 50.

When diving into the data, some key areas stand out, such as health and career commitments for the new year.

Health-related Resolutions in Wales 2024

Historically and around the globe, fitness, training, and health goals have always been the top priorities in resolutions, especially in the past decades. The outlook for 2024 is no different, but with one important observation for Wales, compared to the rest of the UK:

A record high 71% of the Welsh poll takers opted for simply getting their fitness routines and workouts in.

Which of the following New Year’s Resolutions do you intend to make?

“Doing more exercise or improving my fitness”

National Average Results:

  • England 56%
  • Wales 71%
  • Scotland 52%

Awareness of fitness and health has increased with all generations in the past decades, where less physical activity, commuting and office work are typical examples of daily routines that can affect health just as much as dietary choices.

When looking at other resolutions related to health and lifestyle, this was the outcome.

Cutting down on alcohol consumption and giving up smoking in 2024

When comparing national averages and resolutions around alcohol and cigarettes, the numbers stand out for Wales, where twice as many will attempt to change drinking or smoking habits compared to Scotland and England.

When asked about cutting down on drinking, 23% in Wales answered they would give it a try, whereas the numbers were 12% in England and 8% in Scotland for the same question.

When compared to giving up smoking, the number of participants is lower. Still, the Welsh poll takers have twice as many answering that they will attempt to put their cigarette habits out: 14% in Wales answered that they would try it, compared to England at 6% and Scotland at 5%.

Below is a summary of the health-related results from the survey:

Doing more exercise or improving my fitness

Losing weight

Wales 42%

England 47%
Scotland 21%

Improving my diet

Wales 33%

England 43%

Scotland 41%

Cutting down on drinking
Wales 23%

England 12%
Scotland 8%

Giving up smoking

Wales 14%

England 6%
Scotland 5%

In conclusion, Wales’s New Year’s resolutions for 2024 emphasise a commitment to health, fitness, and overall well-being, setting the stage for positive lifestyle changes across the nation.