The report, which is part of Cigna’s COVID-19 Global Impact Study, found that Americans reported an across-the-board decline in their overall well-being—physical, social, family, financial, and work—due to the coronavirus. Physical scores saw a noticeable drop, “mainly driven by a lack of sleep and regular exercise, and concerns about weight.”
More than twenty thousand people participated in the wide-ranging research between January and August in the countries of China, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
One particular highlight from the survey showed that consumer confidence remained muted when it comes to being able to meet personal financial commitments.
Nearly half of the global respondents contended that the current economic environment would have a negative impact on their financial situation and planning—and only about 25 percent believed that they will be able to maintain their current standard of living.
The Americans surveyed in June admitted that their level of financial stress was only slightly worse than what it was before the pandemic. But in recent months, as new coronavirus cases have continued to surge in many states, their overall well-being has decreased even further. Globally, the well-being of people has either slowly rebounded or at least flattened.
According to the report, concerns related to finances “remain the main cause of stress for most people, increasing slightly from 32 percent pre-pandemic to 34 percent today. However, as COVID-19 dominates the international news agenda, health is now the second biggest cause of stress, rising from 10 percent pre-pandemic to 17 percent today.”
“Access to integrated wellness programs, mental health providers, and well-being solutions can have a positive effect on those most impacted by pandemic-related stress,” Cigna Americas Global Employer Health CEO Ann Asbaty said in a news release.
“This year alone, Cigna’s International Employee Assistance Program has seen a 55 percent increase in mental health support cases compared to the same time period last year, and utilization of the program’s website has increased by 46 percent.”
Globally, the survey revealed that feelings were mixed regarding the likelihood that the pandemic will continue well into 2021. Half of the respondents asserted that COVID-19 will not be eradicated and will eventually become a seasonal disease.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.