The BBC last week that one of the most comprehensive health studies conducted recently found that over 50% of women regularly take 3 or more prescribed medications (43% of men). 5% of all prescriptions are for antidepressants, taken by 1 in 10 women and 1 in 20 men.
Cholesterol-lowering statins, pain relief and antidepressants were most commonly prescribed, and with an average of 18.7 prescriptions were issued per person, the total cost to the NHS was in excess of £15bn.
So there begs the question - are the nation's medics getting better at diagnosing illness?
Or rather - are we becoming a chronically ill society?
One wonders how much of this is down to people ignoring their body's warning signs and pushing themselves to the limit by working harder, faster and longer.
As a nation, our approach to our health tends to be reactive rather than proactive - we are more likely to seek medical help only when it is necessary, often by which time it is too late - we're possibly in need of medication and are already on the slippery slope to a lengthy period of recovery.
Taking responsibility for ourselves and adopting a proactive approach to healthcare means that looking after our own health and well being becomes a priority. Being more aware and listening to our bodies ensures that potential ailments can be nipped in the bud, or better still, we can choose to ease off sufficiently and allow ourselves time to recover and replenish before any signs of symptoms or illness arise.
But best of all would be to adopt a health maintenance regime in order to look after ourselves when we are in good health and to make sure we stay that way. Whilst a healthy diet, regular exercise, taking regular breaks at work and having sufficient sleep will all help, these can be difficult to sustain at times. Far simpler would be to have monthly or seasonal acupuncture maintenance treatments - this will serve you very well and keep you on the right track health wise.
'If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, who am I?
If not now, when?' Hillel, 12th Century
One for the New Year's Resolutions list?