Employees in the Middle East experience a higher level of stress in comparison with the rest of the world, said Cigna Corporation, a global health service company in a new report.

Although the average overall well-being index (63.3 points) is above the global average (61.5 points), raising concern about future finances and work stability, added the well-being survey under the ‘Future Assured’ from Cigna Corporation’s business in the Middle East, Cigna Insurance Middle East.

More specifically, the survey points out that individuals across much of the GCC region are largely confident about their family and work, with women and millennials particularly optimistic about their work well-being. Over 60 per cent of the women and 50 per cent of the millennials surveyed expressed satisfaction with their compensation and benefits, as well as career development and learning opportunities.

Respondents from across the Middle East region were divided on their outlook around family wellness with an average of 40 per cent of the respondents displaying confidence in being able to take care of their parent’s health and financial needs.

Diverse territories also exhibited vast differences in feelings around ‘me’ time with those from the more sparsely populated countries revealing an inability to easily make time for themselves.

More than 60 per cent of the respondents are not aware of or have no exposure to workplace wellness programs, while nearly half of them felt they do not receive enough support from employers when it comes to dealing with stress.

Given that chronic stress can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure whilst also impairing cognitive abilities, the survey presents a strong opportunity for greater employer support and workplace wellness programs that can raise overall happiness levels across nations in the region.

Now in its fourth year, the 2018 edition of the survey adopted a more forward-looking approach #FutureAssured through exploring people’s perceptions and concerns for their health and sense of well-being across five key indices - physical health, family lives, social lives, finances, and work. This year’s survey is Cigna’s most global one in scope to date encompassing 23 countries and territories with the inclusion of 10 new markets from the previous year.

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