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Economic crisis 'leads to action'

The economic crisis has led to 85% of UK adults deciding to take action in their lives when they would previously have sat back, a study claims.

There has been a fundamental and lasting shift in the way Britons plan to live their lives, the research says.

The Why Not Britain report, commissioned by AXA, revealed 74% of respondents were re-evaluating what is really important to them and increasingly asking themselves "Why Not?" and challenging the status quo in their communities, careers and home life.

In a survey of 2,000 adults, 69% said they were more likely to put family ahead of work, 63% said they were rethinking what they want to do with their lives, 76% of 18-34 year-olds said they were preparing to take risks over the next two years in a bid to improve their lives, and 51% said they believed the economic crisis will lead to a stronger society in the future.

The study claims a new positive outlook has emerged as the nation faces up to its problems.

Brian Paddick, former Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner and one of the experts consulted, said in the report: "We are facing a major contraction of the state, with significant reductions in Government spending. But I think people are rising in the face of adversity to do things for themselves."

The report identified how the people at the forefront of the movement were made up of three distinct groups: "local heroes" such as the "Riot Wombles" who cleaned up the streets of London after the 2011 riots; "new self starters" who are establishing enterprises that both deliver profit and improve society; and "challengers" who question the world around them, seek out new challenges and push themselves beyond their comfort zones.

Nick Turner, head of customer partnerships at AXA UK, said: "We commissioned the report to understand the wave of change sweeping the UK as people respond to the impact of recent turbulent times. What we found is that 'Broken Britain' is beginning to mend itself.

"People are actively making changes to improve their own lives, and the communities around them, for the better. Optimistic, go-getting and keen to build a positive future, 'Why Not' people are turning the negative impact of the economic crisis on its head.

"Why Not is a powerful progressive force that is going to challenge obstructive, legacy-based thinking and help us reach the future we want and need."

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