Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study ranks UAE a world-leader for Vitality
February 2024   PRESS RELEASE

Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study ranks UAE a world-leader for Vitality

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cigna vitality study uae
  • UAE exceeds global averages with a third of people reporting high vitality due to country’s holistic health approach.
  • Study explores impact of stress, work-life balance and inflation on people’s health and wellbeing.
  • 61% of UAE employees embrace office work, noting improved concentration and coworker relationships; but financial stress weighs heavy with 99% of respondents reporting burnout symptoms.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 February 2024: The UAE tops global charts with exceptional vitality scores, according to the Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study. The report findings, unveiled by Jérôme Droesch, CEO of Domestic Health and Health Services, International Health, Cigna Healthcare, indicate that the UAE’s commitment to holistic health has contributed to higher-than-average vitality levels, and a better work-life balance, positioning the country as a frontrunner in health and wellbeing.

The concept of health has evolved significantly. Once considered solely a reflection of physical health, it has become a broader covering body and mind, including everything from mental health to work and family life. As a result, Cigna Healthcare launched the evolution of its flagship 360 Well-Being survey, named as ‘Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study.’

The Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study is based on a global survey of over 10,000 respondents in 12 markets, across eight key aspects of vitality – emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.

Recognizing that health is dynamic and multi-dimensional, the study introduces a scientifically validated approach to assessing whole-person health. It goes a step further by examining how individuals perceive their autonomy, competency, and relatedness - crucial factors in understanding the ability to make personal choices and maintain control over various life domains.

Notably, 32% of UAE respondents reported high vitality levels, surpassing the global average of 17%. This underscores the effectiveness of the UAE's strategies in promoting holistic wellbeing. The study also examines stress levels, work-life balance, and the impact of the global inflation crisis, shedding light on both the challenges and opportunities in the region's health and wellbeing landscape.

Jérôme Droesch expressed: "This year's Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study is a testament to the UAE's resilience and dedication to holistic health. The high vitality scores reported in this study, as well as the country’s focus on mental, emotional, and social aspects of health amid global challenges reflect our community's strength and the need for continued emphasis on comprehensive wellbeing strategies. Cigna Healthcare is proud to be a key contributor to the country’s leading model for health and wellbeing."

The launch of the Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study was marked by a media roundtable, featuring prominent panelists who shared their expertise and insights. Among the distinguished participants were Jérôme Droesch, CEO of Domestic Health and Health Services at Cigna International Health; Dr. Louise Lambert, the Head of Happiness Policy, Programming, and Research and David Mackenzie, Group Managing Director at Mackenzie Jones Middle East.

The discussions delved into key topics, including the evolving landscape of health and wellbeing, the impact on corporates, the needs of the UAE population concerning mental health, and the differences in mental health care access between the UAE and other countries. The roundtable provided a platform for in-depth analysis and dialogue on the vital trends identified in the survey, offering valuable perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in the realm of holistic health.

Key Findings of the Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study:

  • Demographics and Vitality: While 32% of UAE respondents report high vitality levels, a 7% decrease from the previous study, women show marginally higher vitality than men. Millennials (ages 25-44) are the highest-scoring generation for overall vitality.
  • Global and Regional Comparisons: The UAE’s vitality score of 32% outperforms the global average of 17%. Saudi Arabia reports a vitality level of 38%.
  • Wellbeing Aspects: Intellectual and emotional wellbeing are prioritized among UAE respondents, with 71% valuing learning new things and 65% looking forward to each new day. Environmental and social health are also key, with 63% feeling connected to safe, welcoming places and capable of building meaningful relationships.
  • Stress and Burnout: Stress in the UAE remains high at 89%, with 99% of respondents experiencing burnout symptoms. The ‘cost of living crisis’ is the leading cause of stress (45%), followed by personal and family financial concerns.
  • Work Patterns and Stress: There’s an improvement in work-related stress, with 61% working full-time in the office and others in hybrid arrangements. This shift has enhanced concentration at work (44%) and coworker relationships (40%).
  • Lifestyle Changes Post-Pandemic: Post-pandemic lifestyle shifts continue, with 79% emphasizing the importance of being close to family and friends, and 75% prioritizing health and wellbeing more than before.
  • Employer’s Role in Health Enhancement: In the UAE, 74% of employees feel challenged by inflation in the context of maintaining health, with 77% desiring more employer support. Private health insurance plans (83%), flexible work arrangements (35%), and mental health support (33%) are the top employee preferences for health programs.

About the Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study

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

The survey asked 35 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.


To read Cigna Healthcare Vitality Study Infographic, please click here

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