News Coronavirus watch29 Jun 2020

UAE health index stronger than global average despite prevailing always-on culture

| 29 Jun 2020

The UAE health index registered a strong performance compared to other markets during the lockdown with an overall score of 67.9 points, against global average of 62.5 points and up by 2.1 points from January to April. The survey showed improvements in the physical, family, social and work health of residents in the UAE, while financial health witnessed a decline.

These results were announced by global health service company Cigna in its first COVID-19 Global Impact Study, a new series of studies from the company and part of its annual 360 Well-Being Survey.

In a bid to understand the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s health and wellbeing better, the study engaged 10,204 people from eight key markets including the UAE, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, the UK, Singapore, Spain and the US. The first round of the study was conducted in two phases between 10 January and 24 February while the second took place between 22-27 April 2020.

In a statement, the insurer said the improved scores across sectors emphasised the UAE’s resilience during the work-from-home period. Work registered 70.8 points in April, up from 69.2 in January, social climbed to 68.9, up from 66.9 points, family stood at 72.9 points, up from 70.0 in early 2020, and physical notched up 65.9 points, up from 62.6 in January. Most notably, people reported having enough time for themselves and feeling part of a community during this phase, with this perception surging from 40% to 50%, and from 34% to 46% respectively between January and April.

However, despite an improved quality of work life, the survey noted a prevailing always-on culture as employees continued to struggle to switch off and put in longer hours even when working from home. From a financial perspective, wellbeing declined globally with a drop from 55.8 to 54.8 points, while the UAE noted a minimal decline of 0.2 dropping from 56.4 to 56.2 points, echoing worldwide job security concerns.

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