Link between cost of living crisis and declining health in the UK
Healthcare is still the top concern for Brits
Cigna Healthcare’s International Health business has released its latest report on the state of health and wellbeing entitled ‘Cost of living pressure could trigger global health crisis’.
The research revealed that rising costs on people’s health, with 54 per cent of UK adults saying it is becoming too expensive to stay healthy.
Twelve per cent of those surveyed had experienced medical expenses and 90 per cent had seen rising prices for basic foods, household essentials and energy bills.
The company is urging business leaders to dedicate five per cent of their time to help safeguard the UK workforce by helping them to take care of their health and wellbeing.
Jason Sadler, President, International Health, 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 the UK’s current and future workforce by supporting employee health and wellbeing.”
Healthcare is the top concern for 13 per cent people in the UK. It ranks just below economic and inflationary concerns, and ahead of climate change (10 per cent), inequality (seven per cent) and job security (five per cent).
The research suggests the concern is warranted. Despite the NHS providing no-cost care at the point of service, 65 per cent of UK adults say the ability to meet their individual or family medical needs is ‘fair’ or ‘poor.’ Globally, 63 per cent report the same.
Sadler will also challenge any notion that workforce health and wellbeing benefits be reduced during tough economic times. Workers need more support and would benefit from services such as well-being programmes, as well as support to access sports and exercise, alongside policies that enable physical and mental self-care within the working day.
Sadler added, “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.”