Africa ranks better in physical and social well-being
Overall well-being index in Africa below world average and Middle East levels; The incidence of stress at 91% was higher than in the world [83%] and Middle East [87%] levels; 57% of respondents in Africa prefer working from home compared to 34% worldwide
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Even though Africa is still under the impact of COVID-19 with an increase in cases amid low vaccination rates, it has achieved higher rankings in the indices of physical and social well-being compared to a global average in 21 other markets in a survey conducted by Cigna Corporation as part of its annual flagship 360 Â° wellness survey.
In the global study conducted by Cigna in March-April 2021, Africa’s physical well-being index was 62.4 and was above the global average of 58.2 with the Middle East levels at 61.3. Likewise, Africa ranks higher in the Social Welfare Index at 64, compared to the global average of 61.6. The annual global survey was conducted anonymously online, interviewing 18,043 respondents worldwide and 2,817 in Africa.
The encouraging signs of physical and social well-being have come against a backdrop of increasing stress levels in Africa. While the incidence of stress was found to be very high on the African continent at 91%, compared to a global average of 83%, and levels in the Middle East at 87%, according to the study, this reinforces that stress is less and less stigmatized in the continent.
The 360 ââÂ° Wellbeing Survey, which is in its seventh year and conducted anonymously across the world, showed Africa’s Overall Wellbeing Index to be 59.8, which was lower than the world average of 61.4 and the Middle East at 64.7. Africa’s well-being index also registered a decline from the 61.2 levels reached during the pre-pandemic period in January 2020.
Report gives us insight into the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviors and expectations
In Africa, Cigna operates in partnership with Hollard, one of the main African insurance companies. Together, they provide comprehensive healthcare solutions to more than 250,000 people in Africa, including international assignments, regional expats and multinational companies operating on the continent.
âEven though the world is grappling with the COVID pandemic and its impact, with some markets seeing an increase in infections, while vaccinations are helping others flatten the curve, there are positive signs emerging of it. Africa, âsaid Leah Cotterill, director of distribution, MEA. in Cigna. âOver the years, the two companies have always played a central role in harnessing access to world-class healthcare in Africa. As part of this commitment to a healthier Africa, here we unveil the 360 ââWellbeing Index, which reflects how consumers across the continent think about their personal health and wellbeing across five pillars: physical, financial, professional, social and family. well-being. “
Leah added, âThe report gives us insight into the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviors and expectations. Reflecting global trends, Africa is also experiencing an increase in incidences of stress, overwork, deficits in well-being at work and general well-being. It’s time to work cohesively to raise awareness and drive positive change on this front. “
The study showed that financial well-being fell from 43.3 levels in 2020 to 41 in 2021 and was well below the global average of 54.1. Well-being at work in Africa fell from 67.3 in 2020 to 65.9 in 2021 and was below the global average of 67.9. Family well-being fell to 65.8 in 2021, from 67.2 in 2020, from a global average of 65.5.
Another encouraging trend emerging in Africa was that 57% of office workers preferred the option of working from home compared to 34% in global markets. However, the study also found that 50% of home workers in Africa spend more hours working, compared to 39% globally.
The main trends in the survey include:
Adult Africans are more stressed. The pandemic situation has not helped the adult population in Africa. The study proves that financial worries, whether personal or family, or uncertainty about the future, lead to increased stress levels in Africa. Over 48% of respondents in Africa have disturbed sleep, 40% feel depressed, 38% become emotional and 43% have avoided socializing. A whopping 81% observed that their spouse was stressed, compared to 60% globally, 53% experiencing mental symptoms. Stress leads to a decrease in the number of respondents getting enough sleep at night, with only 39% able to get enough sleep, down from 46% in 2020. The positive side is that only 45% of children in Africa are stressed, compared to 55% in the world. world. and 56% in the Middle East.
Job satisfaction in Africa is at terribly low levels. The study showed extremely low job satisfaction among Africans in terms of wages and benefits, falling to 18% from a global average of 42%. Stability on the employment front is another factor affecting the well-being of Africans at work. From pre-pandemic levels of 39% in 2020, job stability fell to 31% in 2021, from the current global average of 60%. The study showed high levels of satisfaction in working relationships [above 80%] and the opportunity to learn and grow [74%] and workload / working hours at 68%, compared to 60% globally.
Africans are increasingly looking for a change of job. Almost 48% of Africans are likely to seek a change in employment, which is well above the global average of 30% and Middle East levels of 39%. While there has been less incidence of job changes over the past 12 months on the continent, compared to the Middle East and globally, the trend is likely to turn in the other direction. One reason is that there are gaps in the needs of employees in Africa, compared to the supporting infrastructure available to them in other global markets, such as health insurance that allows virtual health consultations. or holistic support to help manage work-life balance.
The pandemic has worsened financial well-being across Africa. On average, less than 10% of respondents in Africa think their current financial situation could meet their family’s leisure time, pay a mortgage / rent and provide financial security in an emergency, or have enough savings / money for retirement. The COVID pandemic has made the situation worse.
Global health among the priorities of Africans. Africans have pledged to lead healthy lives amid the changing COVID pandemic situation around the world. Whole Health has been rated as very important on the continent, relative to global and Middle Eastern markets. A whopping 91% believe mental health is extremely important, compared to 71% globally and 80% in the Middle East. In addition, there is greater resilience in Africa [63%] against 39% in the world and 50% in the Middle East.
An increased number of Africans prefer hybrid health counseling. With the slow opening of markets, Africans prefer hybrid health consultations from their doctors and practitioners. About 63% in Africa prefer a mix of traditional and virtual health counseling, which is well above the global average of 52%. About 27% on the continent prefer virtual engagement only, compared to 21% globally. The study also showed that over 50% of respondents who went for a virtual health consultation used it primarily for general health advice and counseling.
To read the full report, please visit: https://bit.ly/3DxzB4p
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Cigna Corporation.