UAE Health Index Stronger than Global Average despite Prevailing Always-on Culture

UAE Health Index Stronger than Global Average despite Prevailing Always-on Culture

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Cigna announced the results of its first COVID-19 Global Impact Study, a new series of studies from Cigna and part of the annual Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey.

In a bid to better understand the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s health and well-being, the study engaged 10,204 people from eight key markets including the UAE, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Spain and the USA. The first round of the study was conducted in two phases between January 10 and February 24 while the second took place between April 22-27, 2020. This gave us an opportunity to see the changes in people’s perceptions before and during the pandemic, allowing us to better understand them.

The UAE has truly emerged strong and united during the period of isolation and social distancing. What we have seen is that the UAE’s health index has remained strong, with an overall score of 67.9 points, 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.

Interestingly, there was a drop in the level of loneliness despite being physically isolated from others. The first edition of this study has shown that as well as reducing feelings of loneliness across all markets, the lockdowns have improved people’s relationships. People have also begun to recognize the positives from home-based working, especially in terms of balancing family and work responsibilities, despite the longer hours they are working.

However, the survey has shown that the ‘Always On’ culture is having a significant impact on people as personal and professional boundaries blur during the work from home phase. People feel that they can never switch off from work, even during the evenings or on weekends, which is impacting people’s stress levels.

As the COVID-19 pandemic shapes new habits, the survey shows that people will continue to pay more attention to their mental and physical health. Cigna is keen to empower people on their wellness journey and equip them with the most affordable, predictable and simple tools to enhance overall health and well-being. As part of this priority, Cigna will continue to conduct similar studies in upcoming months to stay informed of people’s well-being and needs during this exceptional time.

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