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Life Health > Health Insurance > Your Practice

Top 10 employee health problems: U.S. is world’s most anxious country

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A new study by ComPsych reveals how daily lifestyle choices affect employees’ overall health and how these choices contribute to the top 10 health problems experienced by workers across the nation.

Tracking wellness trends, ComPsych’s HealthyGuidance program compiles health and lifestyle data from employees of diverse ages, occupations, industries and regions to compile an annual report that provides a snapshot of overall physical and emotional well-being of employees across the nation.

Factors including physical activity, alcohol consumption, nutrition, emotional issues, social activity, depressive symptoms and stress can influence the top physical and mental ailments experienced by many in the workforce.

Click through the following slides to see in reverse order the top 10 health problems.

See also: Wellness: 4 trends

10. Diabetes

Employees with Disorder: 10 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 55 percent

See also: Obesity: The not-so-new “disease”

9. Depression

Employees with Disorder: 10 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 61 percent

Depression dropped from the No. 5 spot to No. 9 in the last year, with depressive symptoms falling from 22 percent to 17 percent.

Only 13 percent of respondents expressed little interest or pleasure in participating in daily activities, down from 16 percent in 2012.

See also: Gallup: Depression causes $23 billion in absenteeism

8. Asthma

Employees with Disorder: 11 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 43 percent

7. Anxiety

Employees with Disorder: 13 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 47 percent

A staggering 33 percent of employees report feeling anxious or tense much of the time and 31 percent of Americans deal with symptoms of anxiety, according to the World Health Organization, making America the world’s most anxious nation.

Employers should note that although some stress can be motivating for employees, too much stress can lead to anxiety disorders and ultimately cause a decrease in productivity.

Although it only ranks at No 7, anxiety can worsen or cause several of the chronic conditions on this list. It can also lead to poor lifestyle choices which can lead to serious health problems.

6. Headaches

Employees with Disorder: 14 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 34 percent

5. Gastrointestinal Disease

Employees with Disorder: 14 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 49 percent

Mom was right when she said to eat more fruits and vegetables. Although the USDA no longer recommends a daily number of servings of fruits and vegetables, most employees are not eating enough.

Current USDA guidelines suggest that fruits and vegetables consist of half of the plate at each meal, but the ComPsych report reveals that 63 percent of employees are eating two servings or less.

And though convenient for a busy lifestyle, processed foods are a major contributing factor to the increased reports of gastrointestinal problems in the last year.

4. Back Pain

Employees with Disorder: 21 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 15 percent

3. High Cholesterol

Employees with Disorder: 26 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 40 percent

2. Allergies

Employees with Disorder: 27 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 41 percent

1. High Blood Pressure

Employees with Disorder: 31 percent

Employees Taking Prescription for Disorder: 57 percent

High blood pressure can be linked to anxiety, stress, diet, and a variety other factors.

The survey reports that a lack of exercise may be one of the major factors contributing to the rate of high blood pressure among employees.

When asked how frequently they partake in physical activity for at least 20 to 30 minutes, nearly 29 percent reported that they exercise 0-1 day per week, and 14 percent do not exercise at all.

Diet and exercise can have a positive or negative impact on a person’s overall health. The majority of the top 10 health problems listed in ComPsych’s report can be impacted by lifestyle changes in these areas.

Getting a full night’s sleep, receiving positive emotional support from friends and family members, and excessive alcohol consumption can also affect one’s ability to function effectively, both mentally and physically.

Stress, however, remains one of the biggest contributing factors to the onset of these conditions. According to the survey, many employees stress over finances. Nearly a quarter of respondents frequently worry about their financial situation, and 16 percent always worry about their personal financial stability.

The connection between mental health and physical well-being is undeniable. Research has validated the connection between emotional states and health status, and recognizing the connection can be integral to maintaining a positive and healthy lifestyle.


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