Healthspan July 05, 2018

Health advice is better when it's personal. Take our quiz to discover your health personality type - top tips included!

We can all make significant changes to our lifestyle and health, but to do so takes careful examination of our personalities and the habits that have formed over a lifetime. Often, we’re given one-size-fits-all advice, but as we’re all individuals, it’s often more effective to use tailored health tips and strategies.

So, why is understanding our personality important to our health? A personality type gives us condensed information about common thought and behavioural patterns. How we think and feel directly impacts the way we act. So, if we look a little deeper inside our minds we can work with our innate nature, rather than against it, to nudge our health actions to suit our personalities. Remember: there isn’t a lack of advice out there. You just need to make sure it’s the right advice for you.

Finding your personalised health prescription

In order to help you find your personalised health prescription, we’ve developed three distinct personality types: The Caregiver, The Adventurer and The Stoic. These types are based on psychological theory and practice, and can help you find the small tweaks you can make to improve your overall wellbeing.

When you’re completing the quiz, answer the questions as honestly as possible. It can help to think about which answer your loved ones would choose if they were taking the test on your behalf. You can also ask a friend or partner their opinion – sometimes those around us are more objective! Once you’ve finished, tally up your answers. This will lead you to your personalised profile and some lifestyle nudges you can make.

Quiz: Which personality health type are you?

Question 1. Mindset

  1. You think about everyone else’s health before your own
  2. You’re a ‘blue sky’ thinker and see health as a vague concept
  3. You like to think of yourself as active, so don’t quite understand why the waistline keeps nudging up a notch

Question 2. Social

  1. Even as a guest, you’ll be the one making sure everyone has something to eat before you do
  2. You’re the life and soul of the party, who cares how many calories are in that wine!
  3. You’ll go to the party, but will definitely be home for the 10 o’clock news

Question 3. Staying Active

  1. You know it’s important to exercise, but there never seems to be enough time
  2. You’ve tried every class going, and they’re great! But you soon get bored with the same old thing
  3. You do the garden, walk the dog – activities that have a purpose

Question 4. Friendship

  1. You’re the very best friend – your friends, family, even acquaintances would immediately call you if they needed support
  2. Everyone loves your open and gregarious nature, but if you’re honest you only let a few close people in to know the ‘real’ you
  3. You never let anyone down and are rather intolerant of people who don’t live up to your standards

Question 5. Health

  1. You’d much rather see others' health needs met – so much so that sometimes you’re not even aware of what you need for your own health
  2. You’re not shy to tell others about your health plans, and your charming nature means they listen
  3. You don’t understand why health advice keeps changing – surely the ‘experts’ can stick to one story?

Question 6. Food

  1. If a friend orders dessert, you will too just to make them feel less guilty about the extra calories
  2. You’ll try to make the sensible choice, but then have what you fancy – you can always start that new diet tomorrow
  3. Meals shouldn’t be so complicated – what you ate in the past was good enough then, so it should be good enough now

Question 7. Planning

  1. You try your best and never judge someone else if they can’t stick to an eating plan/exercise regime/etc.
  2. It’s so exciting to start a new lifestyle fad – seeing it through is another matter entirely
  3. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right

Question 8. The Gym

  1. The gym works for a while, but then life gets in the way
  2. You want to know what everyone else is doing at the gym, then proceed to have a coffee
  3. No one could ever accuse you of being lazy, but gyms just aren’t for you

How did you score?

Mostly 'a's: click here

Mostly 'b's: click here

Mostly 'c's: click here

The Personality Types

Caregiver

Mostly ‘a’s? You are The Caregiver

The Caregiver spends the vast majority of their time and energy thinking of others – to the extent that they can often neglect their own health needs. They have a sense that “I’ll look after myself once everyone else is sorted” but tomorrow always brings new demands. The key for Caregivers to improve and maintain health is prioritising themselves, so that they are in tip-top form to look after others. Go back

Top tips for Caregivers

Being positive tip: Your caring nature can lead you to worry about everyone and everything. This occupies a great deal of mental space throughout the day and divides your attention, meaning that even simple tasks are harder. Before bed each night, write a list of your concerns – research shows this will help you sleep and when you wake, your mind won’t immediately start to chalk up to-dos. And remember – you are allowed to be ‘selfish’ sometimes. Having a lie-in once in a while is recommended!

Healthy eating tip: Even if you’re in a rush, include protein in your meals. From our 50s onwards, we lose between 3-8% of our muscle mass each decade. Low muscle mass is associated with more falls in later life and problems with regular daily activities. A protein-rich diet will also keep you fuller for longer, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Staying active tip: You don’t need to set aside an hour every day to be physically active – instead pepper your day with movement. Where once you would be sitting, stand instead. You can burn an extra 174 calories by using a standing desk over one afternoon, compared to being seated. Limiting the amount of time sitting down helps to prevent both heart disease and diabetes.

Remember: whether you're a Caregiver, Adventurer or Stoic, we have the products and advice to help you be the best you. So go on. Nudge your health in the right direction.

Adventurer

Mostly ‘b’s? You are The Adventurer

As a free spirit, The Adventurer lives life to the fullest, explores new passions and opportunities, jumping in with both feet. Whilst this carefree nature makes for great storytelling, they can find it difficult to stick to healthy living, which is based more on moderation than excess. Adventurers can use the small tweaks below to maintain their sense of freedom, while also protecting long-term health. Go back

Top tips for Adventurers

Being positive tip: Even though Adventurers are outwardly happy and positive people, like everyone you can experience low mood. There is a quick and easy way to jolt yourself out of a blue spell that you can use every day – looking at happy faces. Eye-tracking research has demonstrated that older adults are particularly good at seeking out and absorbing joyful emotions from others – even by simply looking at pictures. So take a moment each day to gaze on a smiling face.

Healthy eating tip: You don’t have to deny yourself the things you love; simply use some clever tricks to reduce the volume of food and drink consumed. Studies show that we pour 12% less into a tall, slim glass compared to a short, stout tumbler. You can also use your creative streak to find some interesting crockery – focus on the colour red, as we eat less from plates stained in crimson or magentas than from pure white.

Staying active tip: Your curiosity and imagination is something to be admired, but it can mean that you don’t stick to an exercise plan. Keep the motivation going using a reward scheme. Every time you complete exercise (even a small amount!) give yourself ‘loyalty points’ – when you’ve hit a certain number, treat yourself to a trip to the theatre, new gadget or something else you really want.

Remember: whether you're a Caregiver, Adventurer or Stoic, we have the products and advice to help you be the best you. So go on. Nudge your health in the right direction.

Stoic

Mostly ‘c’s? You are The Stoic

The Stoic is responsible, trustworthy and ever-reliable. The Stoic will carefully consider all routes and stick to plan, but once this strategy is set, veering from it is not an option. This means that Stoics stick to health and lifestyle advice from earlier in life, some of which may be outdated, and some not appropriate for their current stage of life. Trying new ways of eating, exercising and staying positive will benefit The Stoic and keep ill health at bay. Go back

Top tips for Stoics

Being positive tip: Listen to music, not just to keep your mind in tip-top condition but also for your heart health. A study published in 2018 showed that listening to music can counteract the damaging effects of stress on the heart by activating certain parts of the brain. This research, which followed people after a heart attack, found that after 60 days of music listening, the gene expression associated with inflammation and heart diseases was improved, leading to better heart health.

Healthy eating tip: Try one new fruit or veg a week. There is growing evidence which shows our microbiota (all the trillions of bacteria that populate our guts and support health) need not just fresh, unprocessed food but a variety of foodstuffs. Think rainbow – make sure you have a range of colours on your plate to give your microbiota all the necessary nutrients for good health. Research has linked a diverse gut microbiota to a prevention of numerous conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Staying active tip: Take a different route – whether it’s on your daily walk, or a set job list in the garden, change it up. By tweaking what your mind sees, you’ll be able to give your brain a work out, not just your body.

Remember: whether you're a Caregiver, Adventurer or Stoic, we have the products and advice to help you be the best you. So go on. Nudge your health in the right direction.

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