Stress causes ill-health in older staff

Older employees are most prone to experiencing health problems as a result of work-related stress and weight gain, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance.

Its research, which questioned 1,051 employee between June and July 2013, also found that:

  • 40% of respondents in their twenties cited their job as a cause of weight gain.
  • 41% of respondents aged 51-55 believe they have experienced illness as a direct result of work-related stress.
  • An unhealthy weight has caused almost a fifth (15%) of those surveyed to suffer from health problems. 
  • 21% of respondents aged 21-50 are offered subsidised gym membership, but only 13% in the 51-65 age range. 
  • Access to a health portal or website reduces from 9% in the under-50 age band to just 3% of respondents aged 51 and over.

Weight gain

The research also discovered that younger employees are more likely to say they have put on weight:

  • More than a quarter of respondents in their twenties (27%) skip lunch or resort to convenience foods when they are stressed or busy.
  • Respondents aged 21-30 are most likely to eat office snacks brought in by other colleagues (39%) or say unhealthy food is readily available in their workplace (34%).
  • Respondents aged 51-65 put on an average of more than 8lbs within twelve months because of their jobs, compared to about 7½lbs for 31-50 year olds and around 6½lbs for 21-30 year olds.

Paul Avis (pictured), marketing director at Canada Life, said: “It seems that these age groups are also being neglected when it comes to workplace healthy-living benefits or initiatives.

“Although younger employees do not experience as many health problems, the fact that they are most likely to gain weight because of their job suggests employees of all ages would benefit from employer support in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”