Almost half (45%) of the people employed in the UAE have said that they are worried about their long-term health, according to a new study.
They admitted they have not had a health check in the last year and a significant number said they have no idea about the simple metrics of health such as cholesterol levels, according to new research from Aetna International, a global health benefits provider.
Inflexible and long working hours are compounding the problem as employees feel unable to take time off to manage their health, says the report.
The findings are revealed in Aetna's Business of Health 2020 report, which explores attitudes to health of 4,000 office workers in the UAE, USA, UK and Singapore, focusing on the health fears of today’s workers and probing the gaps in their own health knowledge.
Despite the fact that 94% of UAE respondents say that they think about their health at least some of the time, 40% admitted that they would not go to the doctor for a general health check-up unless they felt ill, and just over a quarter (27%) say they are too scared to get a health check-up. In addition, few know of basic indicators of their own health — only 35% of UAE respondents know their cholesterol level and just 31% their body fat percentage.
Most UAE workers acknowledge they could do more to improve their health, with over half (56%) admitting their diet needs improvement and 75% saying they need to exercise more. When people do feel ill, however, 39% say they tend to look up symptoms online and self-medicate rather than seeking out a doctor.