Majority Desire Support from Employer for Healthier Life

  • Average vitality score in Hong Kong is lowest in APAC and is significantly lower than the global average
  • Only one in 20 people in Hong Kong (5%) reported high levels of vitality, compared to close to one in five globally (17%)
  • Stress and burnout levels remain high in Hong Kong, with 87% of respondents in Hong Kong experiencing stress, and 96% at least one burnout symptom
  • Over four in 10 Hongkongers (43%) are stressed about the uncertainty of the future
  • A majority of Hongkongers (66%) expressed a desire for employers to offer more support to lead a healthier life

HONG KONG, Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The latest research from Cigna Healthcare has found that Hong Kong’s vitality levels have significantly deteriorated during the first half of 2023, as the city continues to be plagued by high stress and burnout levels.

According to Cigna Healthcare’s latest Vitality Study 2023, which surveyed 1,008 people in Hong Kong between May and June this year regarding their social, occupational, financial, intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, and environmental well-being, only 5% of respondents in Hong Kong reported high levels of vitality, compared to 17% globally.

The Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study 2023 is based on the Evernorth Vitality Index, an individual level indicator of whole person health that was developed by Cigna Healthcare in partnership with a leading psychologist. Individuals with vitality score 87 to 100 are classified as high vitality, whereas people scoring 0 to 47 are classified as low vitality. According to the survey, the proportion of high vitality individuals in Hong Kong has halved since January this year, with the average vitality score falling by over 3 points (from 63.5 to 60.4), significantly lower than the global average (68.0) by more than 10% and the lowest among surveyed markets in APAC and global markets.

Vitality levels among people in Hong Kong impacted by mental health issues

The poor state of Hongkongers’ emotional and mental health has emerged as a key factor in their low levels of vitality. Cigna Healthcare’s study found that 87% of Hong Kong respondents have experienced stress, higher than the global average of 80% and the APAC average of 84%. Those with low vitality also tend to be more stressed (nine in 10) compared to those with high vitality (seven in 10). The burnout rate in Hong Kong remains the highest in APAC since post-pandemic, with 96% reporting at least one burnout symptom (such as feeling drained, helpless or defeated, overwhelmed, having a negative outlook, etc.) over the past year.

The top stressor for Hongkongers is uncertainty about the future (43%), followed closely by financial issues like personal finance (36%) and the current cost of living (34%).

“Despite the return to normalcy, our study shows that mental health issues, such as stress and burnout are still persistent in Hong Kong and affect people’s overall health and vitality.” said Jonathan Spiers, Chief Executive Officer of Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong. “In order to build resilience and drive meaningful change in the community, there is a growing need for comprehensive resources that are easily accessible. For example, employers can help by having workplace seminars on how employees can manage stress and burnout, and the importance of quality sleep, diet and exercise. This will help people achieve optimal health, including their physical, mental, and financial well-being. They can also access our free on-line resource hub SmartHealth and get health tips to address these issues.”

Majority are looking for more support from employers for a healthier life

There is a clear opportunity for employers to play a role in providing employees with support and stability amid ongoing uncertainties and fears about the future among people in Hong Kong. As many as 72% of respondents in Hong Kong expressed that inflation is making it too expensive to stay healthy, while 66% said that they wish they had more support from employers to lead a healthier life.

When asked about their preferences for health and wellbeing programs, a majority expressed a desire to have private health insurance plans (73%), followed by flexible time off or work arrangements at 58% and mental health support at 28%. Interestingly, subsidized gym memberships which may be the most traditional form of health support from employers, was only mentioned by about one in five Hong Kong respondents.

“As Hong Kong continues to navigate economic uncertainties such as rising inflation and costs of living, the Vitality Index results for Hong Kong show that it is imperative for employers to support their employees by adopting a holistic approach that can address their needs. At Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong, we adopt a preventive care approach by providing group clients with comprehensive global health solutions that include mental health support and wellness programs that can help them detect potential health issues early, so they can thrive in a healthier workforce and boost business outcomes for companies in the long run.” Added Jonathan Spiers.

Please visit here to access the full Vitality Study 2023 – Hong Kong Edition.

About the Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study 2023

The Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study 2023 surveyed 10,800 respondents in the US, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Kenya, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, mainland China, Singapore, and the Hong Kong SAR between May and June 2023.

The survey asked 38 questions to gauge respondents’ sense of social, occupational, financial, intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, and environmental well-being – providing Cigna Healthcare with a comprehensive picture of people’s ability to thrive in an organizational setting and to pursue life with health, strength, and energy.

The study was based on the Evernorth Vitality Index©, developed in partnership with leading clinical psychologist and author Dr. Richard Ryan using his Self-Determination Theory and Subjective Vitality Scales (SVS). The index measures eight dimensions of well-being as well as three components of the SVS.

About Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong

Cigna Healthcare is a health benefits provider that advocates for better health through every stage of life. We guide our customers through the healthcare system, empowering them with the information and insight they need to make the best choices for improving their health and vitality.

Founded in 1933, our Hong Kong operation provides comprehensive health and wellness solutions to employers, employees and individual customers. Leveraging on our extensive global healthcare network, we offer global group medical benefits that provide comprehensive and tailored coverage for a wide range of organizations. For individual customers, we also offer a full suite of health insurance plans that cater to consumers’ diverse needs. For more details, please visit www.cigna.com.hk.