As a comprehensive survey of employees’ health, AIA Vitality’s Healthiest Workplace Survey 2019 provides employers in Thailand with an essential overview of their employees’ wellbeing. By creating an awareness of the importance of workplace health and wellbeing, the report gives employers a greater understanding of the efficacy of their companies’ health interventions in the workplace.


Thais are increasingly active, they smoke and drink less than their Asia-Pacific counterparts


Thai employees appear to be more engaged in the workplace and days lost to absence and presenteeism have decreased significantly since 2018


Many Thai employees still do not get a full seven hours sleep a night but few report poor sleep quality


Work-related stress remains an issue, but fewer report symptoms of anxiety or depression



In 2019, the second round of the survey in Thailand, 86 organisations representing a combined workforce of 4,236 employees took part. Over the past year, Thai employees have lost fewer days to absence and presenteeism thanks to greater engagement in the workplace. While healthy diets remain elusive for the majority, efforts to live a healthier lifestyle show more Thai employees pursuing physical activities, with fewer actively smoking or drinking to excess than elsewhere in Asia-Pacific. Financial concerns continue to worry employees in Thailand, but rates of anxiety and depression are low.

More engagement in the workplace means fewer working days lost

Employees in Thailand appear to be more engaged in the workplace and lose fewer days to short-term work impairment (56 days) compared with 77 days in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific average of 70 days. This represents a significant drop from 2018 when approximately 73 days were lost per employee per year in Thailand. The average monthly cost of health-related absence and presenteeism per organisation is estimated at Baht 6,103,187.

Healthier habits and a more active lifestyle

Thai employees appear to be generally healthier than their counterparts in the region: 53% of employees in Thailand engage in sufficient physical activity every day, compared to just 33% in Asia-Pacific; fewer are active smokers (4.5% compared to 9.3% in the region) and just 0.8% exceed recommended alcohol guidelines. Wearable trackers and mobile apps that keep track of daily physical activities were used by nearly half of the employees surveyed in Thailand.

Diet remains an issue across all the countries surveyed, but in Thailand efforts appear to be being made to eat more healthily. In 2018, 83% of those surveyed were not eating a healthy diet but this had dropped to just over 78% in 2019. The regional average was over 87%. Perhaps as a result, only 6.5% of Thais are considered overweight or obese and of the analysed employees, just 18% reported one or more chronic condition (including kidney conditions, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke or cancer) compared to an average of 32% in Asia-Pacific. Although 75% of Thais reported at least one musculoskeletal condition, this was the lowest in the region (along with Sri Lanka).

Insufficient sleep remains a problem, but sleep quality is good

Long working hours, increased connectivity and work-related stress are all factors associated with sleep problems. In Thailand, 40% of employees got less than the recommended seven hours sleep a night but only 6% reported poor or very poor quality sleep. More than a third of Thai organisations offered employees a place to rest. On average, organisations in Thailand offered only one of the five sleep interventions asked about in the survey, a quarter of employees were aware of these interventions and almost all (99%) felt they had a positive impact on their health.

Stress in the workplace continues but anxiety and depression are less of an issue

Work-related stress was slightly down on 2018 but nearly 43% of Thai employees still felt they suffered from at least one aspect (down from 47% in 2018 and less than the Asia-Pacific average of 52% in 2019). Financial concerns appeared to be slightly eased with 25% of employees reporting “a lot” of financial worries in 2019 compared to over 27% in 2018. This is still slightly more than the regional average of 22%. Fewer Thais suffer from mental health issues than the regional average (8%), with just 4.5% reporting moderate or severe symptoms of depression compared to a high of 15% in Sri Lanka.






For the first-ever Thailand’s Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality, we are glad to see high participation, as this indicates that organisations in Thailand see value in improving their employees’ health and wellbeing. A total of 146 organisations participated and 7,539 employees in Thailand have been surveyed. We hope that the findings and recommendations from this inaugural Thailand’s Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality initiative will give employers useful insights towards improving or initiating their health promotion strategies and plans to create a healthier and more productive environment for their people. We will be looking forward to working together with organisations, industries and key stakeholders to create a more productive and engaging workplace that can help Thailand’s workforce live healthier, longer, better lives.


39% of surveyed employees in Thailand are physically inactive, compared to 44% in the Asian countries and 10% in Australia.


84% of surveyed employees in Thailand do not eat a balanced diet, compared to 90% in the Asian countries and 54% in Australia. Their diets are poorest in the area of whole grains.


45% of surveyed employees in Thailand reported getting less than seven hours a night, compared to 53% in the Asian countries and 27% in Australia. 8% indicated that they had poor or very poor quality sleep during the week preceding the survey.


47% of surveyed employees in Thailand are subject to at least one dimension of work-related stress, compared with 51% in the Asian countries and 53% in Australia. 5% have high levels of anxiety or depressive symptoms.


73 days lost per employee per year due to absenteeism and presenteeism with estimated yearly cost of 6,169,237 baht per year per organisation.


This is a special supplement that AIA Thailand worked on with Bangkok Post. It contains the findings of the Thailand’s Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality 2018. It is the first science-based workplace survey in Thailand to examine lifestyle, clinical indicators, stress and mental health, to help businesses understand the impact on wellbeing and productivity at an individual and organisational level.

Note: ‘the Asian Countries’ include Hong Kong and Malaysia

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