One in three middle-aged employees feel constantly stressed and take more sick leave than any other age group, according to research by insurer Axa PPP Healthcare.
Its research of more than 2,000 people found that 38% of employees aged 30 to 49 feel stressed all or most of the time.
The main causes of stress for this age group include financial worries (43%) and pressure from or worries about work (41% and 38% respectively).
The research also found that middle-aged employees have taken on average 2.3 sick days in the past six months.
A quarter (25%) of 30 to 49 year olds have taken three or four days off sick, and a further 12% have taken the equivalent of a working week off sick (five or six days) in the past six months, which is double the number of 18 to 29 year old employees (6%) and just 5% of those 50 to 69.
Dr Steve Iley, medical director for health services at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “Employers need to recognise that these middle-aged employees are a particularly squeezed group, struggling with work and home pressures.
“The research suggests that many are not motivated or feeling valued in their work, an issue we would encourage employers to proactively address as the 30-49 age group, which is likely to have at least 20 years left in the workplace.
“Employers need to support their employees’ mental and physical health [because] offering positive steps to ensure wellbeing now will help to ensure resilience in future.”