British people’s sense of personal wellbeing has declined sharply over the past three years as financial pressures mount and put a strain on family health, research shows.
The annual report from Cigna International Markets, found wellbeing in the UK has deteriorated compared to the 13 countries surveyed.
The UK’s ranking has fallen from third place in 2015 to eighth place in the latest survey.
Britain now ranks behind India, Thailand, China, Spain, UAE, Indonesia and New Zealand.
The research looked at five main components of people’s sense of wellbeing: their physical health, their family lives, their social lives, their finances and their work.
On each of these criteria, people in the UK said their position had declined during 2016.
Family life suffered the biggest fall, with more than half of Brits saying they felt they did not spend enough time with their family.
Many people felt their workplace health schemes should do more to contribute to their overall wellbeing.
Over half (54%) of respondents said their company did not value their work-life balance, and only a third (32%) felt their workplace wellness programme matched their needs.
Half said the current economic environment is having a negative impact on their financial situation.
The UK scored poorly on every single financial measure including current finances, provision for retirement, meeting medical needs and maintaining standard of living.
Peter Mills, medical director at Cigna Global Health Benefits, said the results are a clear early warning sign that employers need to start thinking more deeply about how to better support employees’ work-life balance.
“With half our waking hours spent at work, it will require a combined work-life solution in order to improve the nation’s overall wellbeing,” he said.
The biggest falls in wellbeing were in people’s perceptions of their ability to look after their children’s financial needs. Only one third (38%) of respondents felt they could take good care of these needs.
Long-term care for elderly parents was also a major concern. Only one in four (26%) saying they felt they would be able to take care of their parents’ financial needs and less than two in five (38%) said they could take care of their parents’ health and wellbeing.
Of the employees provided with a workplace wellness scheme, 58% said it led to positive health outcomes and 54% said it caused increased employee engagement.
Around 19% said employer health plans should support wellbeing by making health checks more widely available.
Download a copy of the 2017 Cigna 360 Well-being survey here.
This article was first published in HI Daily. You can see the original article here.