Cigna: Hongkongers suffering poor health and wellbeing during COVID-19

Hongkongers’ health and wellbeing have suffered amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, and they have been worried about their financial status the most, according to a Cigna survey.

The survey – Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study – showed the overall wellbeing in Hong Kong remained steady at 57.8 points between January and April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was lower than the global average of 62.5, with the lowest levels of wellbeing among the eight markets surveyed.

Worries about their financial status was the biggest concern among Hongkongers. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Hong Kong’s financial wellbeing index has declined by 0.9 points (from 52.7 in January to 51.8 in April 2020), with only 16% of respondents saying their financial wellbeing was positive.

Asked about the reasons, only 11% of respondents said they had sufficient funds for retirement (down from 14% in January 2020), while only 16% said they could pay their mortgages or housing. Similarly, just 17% said they could pay for their own or their family’s education.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong still had one of the highest stress levels across all the markets surveyed as 89% of respondents said they were stressed. Finance remained the largest source of stress, with 34% attributing this as the cause of their stress (up from 26% in January 2020). The next source was work-related stress, which accounted for 24% (up from 19% in January 2020).

Although many employees in Hong Kong have been allowed to work from home in recent months, flexible working hours did not result in a positive change. 

Sixty one per cent of Hong Kong working professionals were provided with an option to work from home during the pandemic, but only 58% of them agreed working from home had made their work day more flexible (compared with 76% globally), and 55% of respondents said working from home had made their work day longer.

At the same time, only 43% of Hong Kong respondents said they had a good work-life balance, while just 33% said their workload and working hours were reasonable (down from 37% in January 2020). The survey also found that 72% of Hong Kong respondents were experiencing “always on” working (up from 67% in January 2020).

Hongkongers also scored low when it came to physical health. Only 17% of respondents said they were at a healthy weight (compared with a 28% average across all eight markets surveyed), while just 14% said they had enough physical exercise (down from 17% in January 2020). Similarly, only 23% said they had enough sleep at night, compared with the average of 34% globally.

This study was part of Cigna’s annual “360 Well-Being Survey”, tracking perceptions about health and wellbeing, including an index covering physical, family, social, financial and work wellbeing since 2014. This edition engaged 10,204 people across China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the US, between January and April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the Forum Media Group, Marketing magazine's sister brand Human Resources Online is launching the online course of Managing health & mental wellbeing in the workplace for Hong Kong's HR professionals, managers, supervisors, team leaders and corporate counsellors. 

Please check the following link for more details.

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