More Britons resolve to throw out the old at New Year

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The Independent Online

Perhaps yours is to never, ever drink again. Or to lose those Christmas inches off your waistline. Possibly, they are exactly the same as those you made last January. But most people in Britain resolve to make lifestyle changes in 2001, a survey suggests.

Perhaps yours is to never, ever drink again. Or to lose those Christmas inches off your waistline. Possibly, they are exactly the same as those you made last January. But most people in Britain resolve to make lifestyle changes in 2001, a survey suggests.

It found that 79 per cent of Britons admit they are not completely happy with their lives, with 7 per cent describing themselves as completely fed up or miserable.

The survey, by the consumer website Fish4.co.uk, also found that 61 per cent intend to make New Year's resolutions, compared with only 27 per cent who made a millennium resolution last year.

The most common resolution (53 per cent) is to spend more time with family and friends, while 39 per cent intend to exercise more, 43 per cent would like to improve their home, and one in five will look for a new job. Perhaps ominously for some, one in 10 wants to end his or her relationship or find a new partner.

Of the 1,010 people questioned across England, Scotland and Wales, one-third said if they had more money they would give up work, while 79 per cent would combat stress by going on more holidays.

Meanwhile, a separate survey suggests that most Britons want the increasingly lengthy Christmas break to become even longer. Nearly threequarters want to see 2 January declared a bank holiday. Returning to work so soon after New Year celebrations is said to lead to depression and lower productivity levels.

To combat what the survey called "post-bank holiday depression syndrome", 73 per cent of those questioned wanted the rest of Britain brought in line with Scotland to have an extra day off to recover from New Year. The survey of 1,002 adults was done by the online travel agent Expedia.co.uk.

More than three-quarters of those questioned said they supported an extra bank holiday to bring the number in Britain per year to nine, nearer the European average of 10.9. Italy has 16 bank holidays a year, Germany and Spain have 14 and France has 11.

Cary Cooper, professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, said: "People who start work on 2 January ... could end up suffering from acute post-bank holiday depression syndrome ... because they are returning before they are fully revitalised. Having an extra day off on January 2 could have significant long-term benefits."

Nearly half of those said wintry conditions made returning to work the most depressing part of the new year.

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