Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ reveals finances and work life are two
of the highest contributors to stress
TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The instability in today's economy is
contributing to high stress levels in young Canadians, with 90 per cent
of 18 to 24 year olds experiencing excessive stress and 72 per cent of
adult Canadians are feeling overwhelmed, according to the third annual
Sun Life Canadian Health IndexTM compiled by Ipsos Reid.
Finances and work life are cited as two of the biggest sources of
anxiety for all Canadians surveyed, according to the index. Other top
sources of stress include personal relationships and personal health
"We're concerned to see the impact of economic instability on young
Canadians with nine in 10 feeling excessively stressed," said Kevin
Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. "This finding is
consistent with what we are seeing is our disability claims business -
for Canadians age 30 and under, 40 per cent of their long term
disability claims relate to mental health. We will use these insights
as we continue to grow our benefits and workplace wellness programs as
well as offer financial planning to help curb stress levels."
The index also found that the employment landscape in Canada is changing
with almost 30 per cent of Canadians saying they are underemployed,
under-utilized and not able to make full use of their skills and
abilities. Underemployment is highest amongst young Canadians - with 39
per cent of 18 to 24 year olds feeling under-utilized.
"These results are consistent with Canada's national unemployment rate
sitting at close to 15 per cent for Canadians under 25, more than twice
the Canadian average," said Louis Theriault, Director, Health Economics
at the Conference Board of Canada. "It is more difficult for young
Canadians to find permanent full-time jobs that suit their skills and
areas of study. Recent job creation has been dominated by part-time
work - which is becoming a trend in Canada. This impacts younger
workers in particular and contributes to their higher stress level."
Drivers of stress such as socio-economic factors, financial security and
unemployment have a significant impact on the emotional and physical
health of Canadians. Seventy-five per cent of Canadians working
full-time rate their emotional health as very good or excellent,
compared to only two-thirds of part-time workers (67 per cent) and just
over half of the unemployed (56 per cent).
"This report endorses the belief that employment has a positive effect
on one's overall health," said Dr. Ian Arnold, recently retired Chair
of the Workforce Advisory Committee for the Mental Health Commission of
Canada. "Positive elements that are attributed to having a full-time
job do help to keep illnesses at bay and Canadians optimistic while
maintaining a healthy lifestyle."
Eighty per cent of Canadians believe their employers should play a role
in helping to manage stress. Not surprisingly, almost half (46 per
cent) of unemployed Canadians don't have the support they need to
manage the stress in their lives. Among those 18-24 year olds who are
experiencing excessive stress, 37 per cent don't have the support they
need to manage the stress in their lives.
For more key findings and results on the 2012 Sun Life Canadian Health
Index TM, visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex. For more information on tips on health, visit Brighterlife.ca.
About the survey
The Sun Life Canadian Index™ measures the attitudes of Canadians towards
healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.
The third Ipsos Reid/Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ is based on
findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between June 29 and July 16,
2012. A sample of 3,113 Canadians from 18 to 80 years of age from the
Ipsos Canadian online panel was interviewed online.
Ipsos employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that the
sample's composition reflected that of the adult population according
to the 2011 Census data - and to provide results intended to
approximate the sample universe.
A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100
per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ± 2
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have
been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. The
margin of error will be larger within regions and for other
sub-groupings of the survey population.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services
organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth
accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate
customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today
have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United
States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan,
Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2012, the Sun Life
Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $496
billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and
Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.
SOURCE: Sun Life Financial Inc.
For further information:
Sun Life Financial