A study of 4,383 employees has revealed that the number of professionals experiencing anxiety and stress has increased, with one in three people reporting they never or rarely feel relaxed.

Data released by global workplace wellbeing provider Champion Health gives an insight into the health and wellbeing of the working population between January 2023 and October 2023. While female professionals remain more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety (68 per cent) the number of men experiencing at least mild symptoms has seen a rapid increase from 38 per cent in 2022 to 60 per cent in 2023.

Financial worries continue to rise and are reported as the leading cause of stress outside of work, cited by 41 per cent, up from 37 per cent last year. And it’s male workers who are experiencing the most financial pressure (42 per cent compared to 36 per cent of men last year). Worryingly, the number of 16-24-year-olds experiencing negative stress at work has doubled since last year; and the same age group cite financial pressure as a major cause of stress, an increase from 34 per cent to 46 per cent.

The data, which has been published in Champion Health’s annual report also revealed that:

  • Prevalence of thoughts of suicide/self-harm has increased to 13 per cent, up from 8 per cent in 2021 and 9 per cent in 2022
  • 40 per cent of young people between ages 16-24 experience clinically-relevant symptoms of anxiety
  • 38 per cent of people are experiencing unhelpful/negative levels of stress in the workplace
  • 53 per cent reported feeling down, depressed or hopeless
  • Physical health symptoms have also increased; 64 per cent report eye strain, 46 per cent report tired eyes and 34 per cent experience headaches during the working day

“It’s no surprise that the last few years have been extremely tough on employees,” says Harry Bliss, CEO of Champion Health. “The fact that workers experiencing suicidal thoughts are continuing to rise year-on-year is distressing, and a 44 per cent increase from last year is a statistic that cannot be ignored. The reality is that in a workforce of 1,000 staff, 130 will be having thoughts about taking their own lives, which could have a devastating impact.

“Our report shows financial pressure is affecting more people – especially younger people. However, the wellbeing scores correlate with the person’s relationship with money – the healthier your understanding of finances, ability to budget and how you feel about money, the more positive your wellbeing is likely to be. In our report, financial expert Ryan Briggs mentions the importance of creating a psychologically safe space to talk about money in the workplace – in the same way we are for mental health. This is an important message for business leaders to empower their people with knowledge about managing finances.

“On a personal level, I’m happy to see that people who have access to the Champion Health platform are feeling healthier, happier and supported at work. The data shows the prevalence of low mood symptoms decreased by 12 per cent after using Champion Health for six months or longer, as well as a 16 per cent rise in people saying they feel supported at work after accessing Champion Health resources. That has been our purpose from day one and this data demonstrates support from Employee Assistance Programmes is needed now more than ever.”

Champion Health’s solutions were developed by world-leading academics, GPs, and technology professionals. Through a team of over 100 professionals and academics, the company is proud to have improved health and wellbeing outcomes across the UK. It works with companies including E.ON, Currys, Rabobank, and the NHS.

Stay up to date

Keep me up to date to receive all the latest news and updates.