Cigna Study Shows Hongkongers Ranked the Sixth Most Stressed Population Globally

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Mental Health Contributes an Important Influence on Whole Health

HONG KONG, Nov. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cigna Hong Kong released today the Hong Kong findings of the latest Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey. This research is the seventh in a series of studies, which aims to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s well-being, and includes new areas such as virtual health, whole health, resilience and remote work to reveal the impact of COVID-19. Over 18,000 people aged 18 or above in 21 markets around the world, including Hong Kong, have taken this survey.

The new research, 2021 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey: On the Road to Recovery, suggests that while overall well-being in Hong Kong has remained steady between December 2020 and April 2021 (from 56.7 to 56.8), it is lower than the global average point of 61.3. It also has one of the lower levels of well-being of the 21 markets surveyed, aside from Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Hong Kong compares unfavorably with its global counterparts in all areas, including physical, social, work, finance, and family well-being.

Financial insecurity still the key stressor

Finances continue to be the key stressor for the people of Hong Kong, with the financial well-being index slightly improved (from 50.0 in December 2020 to 51.3 in April 2021). Only 16% of respondents said their current financial situation is positive (from 15% in December 2020). People continue to feel insecure financially and are more pessimistic about their finances, with only 19% of respondents saying they can maintain their current standard of living (a small improvement from 15% in December 2020), while the global average significantly increased to 28% in April 2021. Only 14% of people said they have the financial ability to meet their own or their family’s medical needs (from 12% in December 2020).

The concern on the ability to pay for housing has decreased from 20% in December 2020 to 16% in April 2021. However, the majority of respondents still have a negative outlook on the economic environment and its impact on their financial situation and planning, with only 14% of respondents feeling optimistic (from 13% in December 2020). The majority also revealed that they felt financially insecure, only 17% respondents were positive on their financial situation in case of emergencies or if they are unable to work (a decrease from 18% in December 2020), and only 12% of respondents said they have sufficient money for retirement (a small increase from 11% in December 2020).

Mental health contributes an important influence on whole health

Hong Kong still has one of the higher stress levels across the markets surveyed, with unmanageable stress level raised to 18% in April 2021 (from 14% in December 2020). 88% of respondents claim to be stressed, making it ranked the sixth highest among the 21 markets surveyed, and is higher than the global average of 83%. Uncertainty about the future continues to be a key stress contributor, with almost half (48%) of respondents attributing this as the cause of their stress in April 2021. With the increased vaccination rate in Hong Kong, the stress in contacting COVID-19 has significantly dropped to 22% (from 35% in December 2020).

With a high stress level among Hongkongers, the ability to handle stress has become paramount. 52% of Hong Kong respondents rated mental health as a very important influence on personal health and well-being, which was ranked just below physical health (57%). Awareness of mental health is a key concern during the pandemic, which was ranked as an important aspect that influences health and well-being.

Jonathan Spiers, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Hong Kong, said: “Hong Kong people continue to feel stressed about their personal finances and are uncertain about the future. At Cigna, we understand mental health and physical health are tightly intertwined, and the support for mental health is a critical component for better health and well-being. This year, we have organized various activities in October to coincide with World Mental Health Day to reinforce our commitment towards promoting mental wellness in the city. Our employees enjoyed a new stress visualization experience through Cigna’s innovative technology, which is a live visualization kit that allows them to explore how stress affects their body and their mind by seeing a portrait of their real-time physical stress. We have also developed a new Facebook AR filter to inspire Hongkongers to take control of their stress level, and a dedicated webpage to share tips on how to better take control of stress. For our customers, we have been offering a range of products and services to address their mental health needs. These include various inpatient and outpatient treatment benefits to provide coverage for medical expenses incurred in the treatment of mental illness, and professional support from an in-house Clinical Services team[1].”

Work stress and lack of employers’ support

Stress on job insecurity has increased from 14% in December 2020 to 19% in April 2021, and more than half (52%) of the respondent said they have work-related stress. However, mental health support from employers does not meet employees’ expectation, with 35% of respondents expected more support from their employer, while 35% of respondents expected an enhanced health insurance cover. Only 44% of Hong Kong respondents said they have a good work-life balance, and 40% said their workload and working hours are reasonable (improved from 35% in December 2020). Under the “New Normal”, there has been an increased desire to work from home. 38% of office-based workers preferred working from home full-time, and ranked saving their time spent on commute (17%), saving money (15%) and feel safer (13%) as top benefits for working from home.

For more information on how to better take control of stress and generate your stress portrait in digital motion artwork, please refer to Cigna’s website: Stress Management & Stress Care | Cigna Hong Kong

[1] The above mentioned benefits are subject to terms and conditions. Please refer to the relevant product brochure and policy provision for details.

About Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey

Cigna’s 360 Well-Being Survey has tracked perceptions about health and well-being, including an index covering physical, family, social, financial and work well-being since 2014. This edition engaged 18,043 people across Australia, Belgium, mainland China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America between March and April 2021. 1,004 respondents came from Hong Kong. Hong Kong has one of the lower health and well-being score of all markets surveyed: Physical (53.3), Social (57.4), Family (59.3), Finance (51.3) and work well-being (62.5).

About Cigna Worldwide Life Insurance Company Limited and Cigna Worldwide General Insurance Company Limited (Cigna Hong Kong)

Since 1933, Cigna Hong Kong has been offering insurance solutions at the right place and the right time, providing advice to customers throughout the different stages of their life journeys. Cigna delivers comprehensive health and wellness solutions to employers, employees and individual customers. Leveraging an extensive global healthcare network, Cigna provides group medical benefits that are suitable for international companies with a worldwide workforce, but also offers tailored and packaged group medical insurance plans to local small and medium-sized enterprises that fit specific needs of the company and its employees. For individual customers, Cigna offers a full suite of health insurance products that caters to consumers’ diverse needs. For more details, please visit