1st June 2017 - Cigna UK HealthCare Benefits’ (Cigna) consumer research reveals the latest picture of health and wellbeing in the UK.
A poor diet and lack of exercise has a direct link to many health issues so it is not surprising to learn that as a nation, we are worried about our health. Cancer is the illness most are concerned about (61%), followed by heart disease (40%) and debilitating illnesses (40%).
Encompassing more than just physical health, the Annual Cigna 360° Wellbeing Study asks respondents to assess all aspects of their lives including physical, family, social, financial and work. How respondents feel about all these aspects of their lives contributes to the UK’s overall wellbeing score, which has declined in the past year from 63.5 to 60.8. This score reflects respondents’ perception of their health on a scale of 0 to 100. This decline in the UK wellbeing score has been driven by a drop in satisfaction with our physical health, with respondents feeling they are performing poorly where their weight and diet is concerned.
Phil Austin, General Manager, Cigna Domestic Health and Travel commented, “Healthy lifestyle behaviours help improve chances of avoiding cancer. It is important for employers to provide support for employees who are concerned about their health and cancer risks. Early detection and rapid access are key to successfully navigating a cancer diagnosis. At Cigna, our self-referral diagnostic pathway for skin and breast cancer allows our members fast access to cancer specialists, near their home, within five working days – included as part of their company healthcare plan.”
Phil continues, “In the UK, more can be done by employers to improve the physical health of employees. Our research shows only 33% of people in the UK are a healthy weight and 70% do not exercise at all. More can be done by employers to encourage healthier behaviours – offering a private medical plan to employees is a good place to start. Our survey results show that only a fifth of the UK population is covered by a private medical plan, so there is an opportunity here for more employers to include a private medical plan for their workforce. This can have a significant impact of the health and wellbeing of a workforce with early intervention pathways helping to reduce absence and increase productivity”.