HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Obesity is on the rise across the board. Australia had the highest percentage (15.2%) of employees who are obese, although Malaysia is not far behind with 12.2%. A lack of physical activity was reported by more than 60% of respondents in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, compared to 36% in Australia, where more people regularly ate fruit and vegetables than in the Asia-Pacific countries surveyed. However, more people consumed alcohol in Australia (16.2%) than in the other three countries, where just 1% of those surveyed reported drinking more than 14 units a week.
A major driver of poor health and wellbeing was found to be musculoskeletal conditions — around 80% of all respondents in the survey reported a condition in the last year. There are some concerns around blood pressure in the Asia-Pacific countries surveyed, but this may be a function of better screening in Malaysia and Singapore, which may lead to more accurate information.
ASIAN COUNTRIES HAVE LONGER WORKING HOURS BUT SHOW GREATER PRODUCTIVITY LOSS
There is relatively high workplace productivity loss in the Asia-Pacific countries surveyed compared to Australia, shown particularly by employees between the ages of 26 and 30. More senior jobs typically reported less productivity loss across the survey. Depression appears a particular issue in sectors such as construction and the financial and insurance sector, which report high productivity loss. It is clear that young people struggle the most with depression, with percentages peaking in the 18-26 demographic. Self-reported symptoms of depression were reported by up to 12.4% of respondents in Hong Kong.
Although employees in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia had lower contracted hours than their Australian counterparts, they worked on average 12 hours over those hours. Australia showed very different sleep patterns compared to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, where at least half of respondents reported sleeping fewer than seven hours a night.
STRESS AND FINANCIAL WORRIES ARE A WIDESPREAD ISSUE
Stress at work was comparatively lower in Singapore than the other countries in the survey, which all reported similar levels of work-related stress. In Hong Kong, 64% of respondents reported at least one aspect of work-related stress, in Singapore it was 43% and in Malaysia, 53%.
Bullying in the workplace is a far bigger problem in Hong Kong where 18.6% of respondents reported having experienced bullying, compared to Australia (8.9%) where it is relatively rare.
Respondents reported financial concerns in broadly similar numbers across the Asia-Pacific context. Hong Kong is at 57%, slightly below Malaysia and Singapore at 63% and 61%, respectively. In Australia, about 60% of employees report some degree of financial concern. In all markets, the perception of financial concern was prevalent.