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NEW YORK — Homeowners are more likely to look after their home’s health than their own during the fall season (71% vs. 57%) according to a survey of 2,000 Americans. Results indicate that many see fall as a time to get back into their routines (73%) and to readjust their priorities for the coming year (64%). That includes tasks such as “getting my schedule organized,” “getting the kids settled in school again,” or “winterizing my home or cars.”

Conducted by OnePoll for MDLIVE, the survey reports that while respondents feel most on top of paying bills (46%), taking care of their family (36%), and their career (21%), 53 percent have a hard time prioritizing their time across all the things they need to manage. Half of respondents (51%) say that during the fall, they’d need at least five more hours in the week to complete everything they need to get done. Parents (26%) and homeowners (25%) may be the most stretched for time, saying they need at least nine extra hours.

When time is limited, personal health seems to take a back seat. Nearly half (47%) say that being busy means they often put off their personal health care – especially those who are parents (50%) – and only 20 percent reported they are on top of routine doctor visits.

“With increasing inflation risk and falling COVID concerns, people are turning their attention towards maintaining the health of their things over the health of themselves,” says Dr. Vontrelle Roundtree, interim chief medical officer at MDLIVE, in a statement. “However, routine maintenance to prevent a breakdown in your health is just as important as preventive maintenance on your car or your home, and virtual care is one convenient way to stay on schedule with preventive maintenance checks for your health.”

fall routine

Many put their money ahead of their personal health

When they do prioritize health, respondents generally spend more time caring for their kids’ health and their partner’s health over their own. Still, 56 percent know that putting off their personal wellness affects how well they can care for other aspects of their life. People are more likely to give into taking care of their health because of their anxiety (39%) and fear (31%) while being more likely to develop habits and maintenance routines for their car (25%) or home (27%).

Similarly, many respondents would be concerned about their health only if they noticed sudden symptoms (35%) or gradual changes (30%), compared to 24 percent of homeowners who preemptively maintain their homes. Just 15 percent of respondents would check up on their health without a concern popping up.

Money may also be a factor since half of respondents shared that they’ve skipped going to a doctor because they couldn’t afford the visit, and 39 percent say that putting their health care first would be too much of an expense. In fact, results also showed that respondents’ health may be falling to the back burner, expressing more concern about their finances (72% vs. 59%) than their own well-being.

“The cost of preventive maintenance is typically far less than the cost of a repair due to breakdown, and typically takes less time; for your health, preventive care is often covered by your health insurance, and easy to access,” Dr. Roundtree says. “With fall season routines, it’s important for consumers to think of their health with a maintenance mindset just like they do the other things that require routine upkeep.”

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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