Half find staying healthy harder in cost-of-living crisis

More than half of UK adults feel the cost-of-living crisis has made it more difficult to stay healthy, an issue that could have an impact on the long-term health of the workforce.
April 13, 2023

Research conducted by Cigna Healthcare’s international business found that rising energy prices and food bills, coupled with sluggish wage growth and economic uncertainty, are putting pressure on workers’ mental and physical health.

Fifty-four per cent of UK respondents said staying healthy is becoming “too expensive”, with nearly 90% experiencing increased costs for basic foods, household essentials and energy bills.

One in 10 said healthcare was their top concern, but economic and inflationary concerns were seen as more pressing by many.

Jason Sadler, president, international heath at Cigna Healthcare said: “The current economic environment is having a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and families, at home, at work and in our communities.

“Employers have a responsibility to help safeguard UK’s current and future workforce by supporting employee health and wellbeing.

“Employers should look for ways to encourage healthy behaviours, from physical exercise during the working day, to enabling work/life balance and providing employees with best-in-class health benefits, investing in a healthy and productive workforce is critical to business growth.”

Cigna’s annual 360 global wellbeing survey for 2023 found that 46% of UK adults cited inflation as their biggest worry, compared with 37% globally.

Two-thirds of adults in developed countries including Hong Kong, Spain and the USA, as well as the UK, said they struggled to afford to stay healthy. Young people in particular were feeling the pinch, with 73% of 16 to 24-year-olds stating that rising costs had affected their ability to keep healthy.

Only 48% ranked their overall wellbeing as high and 49% said they had positive workplace wellbeing, falling to 42% in the UK and to just 34% in Singapore.

Seventeen per cent of people globally rated their workplace wellbeing as low. Women reported lower workplace wellbeing in general, as did older people who are single.

Just 30% of UK adults rated their financial wellbeing as high, compared with 70% in Saudi Arabia and 61% in the UAE.

The global survey involved 9,000 working-age adults in Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, The Netherlands, UAE, UK and USA.

Cigna recently launched its “5% pledge” initiative, which encourages organisations to dedicate 5% of working hours to improving employee mental health and wellbeing.

Original Article: Personnel Today

Contact our recruitment specialist Gareth Allison or give us a call on 02920 620702.

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