A poll of 2,000 adults found two excuses are made every day to justify skipping healthy habits, with half admitting they spend more time coming up with the excuses than it would have taken to actually do the task they are trying to avoid.
Some of the far-fetched excuses included “having to spend time with their hamster”, “their dog ate their shoes” and “They were washing their hair”.
‘Being busy with the kids’ and ‘their favourite TV show is on’ were also among the top excuses for not living a healthier lifestyle.
It also emerged more than half of adults admitted they will find other things they ‘need’ to do rather than the healthy task at hand, such as going to the gym.
Avoidance tactics included tidying, completing ‘this level’ on a videogame, and blaming a busy day at work.
But 39 per cent were left feeling disappointment, anxious or sad after giving an excuse to avoid doing something healthy.
The research was conducted by Bassetts Vitamins to understand more about healthy habit formation – which has led to the development of a motivation generator tool to help encourage people to take on these tasks.
Neuroscience expert, Katherine Templar-Lewis, said: “Healthy habits are harder to form than unhealthy ones, as they can feel more complex and take longer to feel the reward.
“Bad habits become unconscious ‘short cuts’ we take. We use our brain’s ability for ‘confirmation bias’ to find excuses to justify why we aren’t doing the healthy habits – making ourselves feel better with the bad excuses and fitting facts to our own agenda.
“Negativity bias convinces us that our good habits are harder than they really are.
“However, once a habit is formed, it’s like muscle – the more practise it gets the easier it is.
“Small steps can be taken to help healthy habits not feel like