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.