Indians most stressed people when it comes to work and finance issues

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 10, 2018 11:56 hrs
A farmer walks through a paddy field at Tannaurah village in Punjab

This is a country often known for its values. A country that has more rural villages than urban metropolitan centres.

A country with the second largest population and an ever-accelerating use of smartphones.

A country that has been the origin and source of various technologies, and scientific breakthroughs. But, Indians, also remain the most stressed, according to a survey.

The findings compiled by Cigna Insurance survey says the country has the highest number of respondents claiming they remained stressed- nearly 89%. India, however is not too far from the global average of 86%.

Elementary physics may suggest that stress in moderate levels can help achieve, but symptoms of chronic stress and frequent bouts of job overload and clumsy environment may take a huge toll on a person's life. Stressed people are more likely to turn to vices, impacting various physiological processes and ultimately life.

The study evaluated stress levels among 14,500 individuals from 23 countries- majorly China, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, India. The study explores people’s perceptions and concerns on health and their sense of well-being across five key areas -physical, family, social, financial and work.

"With the exception of Singapore, all markets surveyed recorded a drop of 1.1 to 3.9 points since last year, with Thailand reporting the largest fall. Despite recording the second largest fall, India maintained its place at the head of the index," reads a release from Cigna.

India-Specific Findings:

  • 70.04% respondents rated as well-being across five parameters. The study conducted on 1000 respondents across 20 key cities, revealed overall well-being of 73% in 2017.
  • Well-being was scored in areas of physical health, social circles, family, financial aspects and work.
  • 95% Indian millenials (18-34) stressed as oppoosed to global average of 86%. Work remains key trigger for this stress.
  • 1 in 2 Indians not confident of meeting financial needs
  • 1 in 2 Indians plan to finance medical exigencies through savings- no insurance.
  • 4 in 10 Indians have a health insurance but relied on savings to meet medical expenses.
  • 91% willing to share personal data with 3rd parties and trusted their data with insurers.
  • Indians were optimistic about their health and well-being status but Korea fared the lowest on overall index.

The study, a sequel to a previous one, found that respondents were feeling positive about their current situation. But, this positivism was at the cost of quality time spent with families, friends, hobbies, and even physical well-being. Some even gave away the quality of sleep, weight and balanced diet in order to attain financial well being.

"Financial well-being, previously a declining trend, finally stabilized in all markets as respondents are beginning to feel more positive about their current situation. However, there are increased concerns over social well-being -- people are working harder at the cost of quality time for friends and hobbies; and physical well-being - quality of sleep, weight and a balanced diet," reads the report.

Social well as a challenge is unlikely to meet an immediate resolution, considering 75% Indians do not feel comfortable sharing their concerns on stress with a medical professional.

Workplace wellness emerged as a key theme with 87% respondents feeling that workplace wellness programs were important in choosing between potential employers.

The findings show that one in two respondents plan to finance their medical expenses from their savings in old age, followed by insurance. Only four in 10 Indians purchased health insurance for themselves. Almost 90% of those surveyed are open to sharing their healthcare data, as they see the benefits for better treatment and lower costs.

Jason Sadler, President, Cigna International Markets, said: "More people are feeling positive about their current financial situation and understand the need to prepare for the future. However, the survey also showed that there is a trade-off as we face higher workplace stress today. For Cigna, this means we must continue to help individuals and organizations gain a better state of well-being. Collectively, if we can help employees deal better with stress, their well-being will improve."

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