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Research tells us we think one thing, and then we do another…

rachelCThere are a lot of statistics out there.  I should know; I’m partly responsible for the creation of many of them (12.47% according to some sources)!  As most of us know, any argument can be supported with a statistic from one survey or another.  It’s therefore really important to take the time to truly question what they actually mean. Then, start contrasting several statistics and you have the basis of powerful argument.

So here’s a few examples for you to mull over…

One in ten Britons say they have not spoken to a neighbour in the last week (ICM Research, 2008).

Why not say hello?  Between one in seven and one in ten people in the UK feel lonely (Mental Health Foundation, 2010; Opinium, 2011) and almost one in five people now live alone (Opinium, 2011).

1 in 4 people worldwide will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year (Mental Health Foundation, 2013)

Take a look round your office.  That’s could be one in four of your colleagues.

Last year we consumed more than 2 billion litres of bottled water in the UK.  That’s about 35 litres per person on average.  (Zenith International, 2012) More than one in four people refuses to drink tap water according to the Drinking Water Inspectorate in 1998.

We may be supporting the bottled water industry, but we should really be ashamed of ourselves, especially given that there is evidence that tap water is safer to drink than bottled water.  780 million people in the world (around 11% of the global population) still lack the basics and don’t have access to any source of clean water. (Source: JMP, 2012).  1.6 million people die each year due to diseases (including cholera) attributable to lack of access to safe drinking water.  90% of these are children under 5 years of age.  (World Health Organisation, 2013)

Ranked the third worst country in Europe, one in five people in the UK struggle with reading and writing (World Literacy Foundation, 2012).

More than one in five adults never read a book (YouGov, 2013).  Each day Britons spend three hours and 45 minutes on average watching TV (Ofcom, 2010), yet one in four blame a lack of time for not reading more (YouGov, 2013).  Who are we kidding?

Almost half of British residents (44%) travel by car on a daily basis.  Compare this with only 7% who travel by bus with the same frequency and 2% who travel by rail.  Respondents reported making five journeys of less than two miles by car in a typical week (British Social Attitudes Survey, 2012).

Time may be precious but on average, we spend more than a day each year (29 hours) in traffic.  This increases to 3 whole days a year in London, which is now the 3rd most congested city in Europe. (INRIX, 2013)  Added to this, the annual cost of running a car is now more than £6,500 (RAC Cost of Motoring Index, 2011). 

And finally….a recent UK-wide survey at motorway service stations revealed that a third of women and a staggering two thirds of men did not wash their hands after using the toilet (BBC, 2012).

Consider this when going to your next meeting…in fact, best not to think about it!  Those in London and the South West are the most frequent hand shakers when compared to elsewhere (5.4 times per week).  On average, men shake more hands than women. (Chevrolet, 2010).




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