Employee anxiety moves up health problem list


High blood pressure is the top health problem facing employees across the country today, and anxiety is becoming more and more prevalent among the nation’s workers, according to a new report by ComPsych Corporation.

manufacturing workers

While depression has dropped from No. 5 to No. 9 among the top 10 health problems employees face, anxiety reported by employees jumped dramatically.

Over half of employees reported feeling some level of anxiety, with 33 percent saying they feel tense or anxious much of the time, another 24 percent saying they “frequently” worry about their financial situation and 16 percent saying they “always” worry about their financial situation.

The top 10 health issues facing employees are, according to the report:

1. High blood pressure (31 percent)
2. Allergies (27 percent)
3. High cholesterol (26 percent)
4. Back pain (21 percent)

5. Gastrointestinal disease (14 percent)
6. Headaches (14 percent)
7. Anxiety (13 percent)
8. Asthma (11 Percent)
9. Depression (10 percent)
10. Diabetes (10 percent)

The impact of employee health issues on business not only affects the physical and mental health of individual employees, but the organizations as a whole through productivity losses and increased health costs.

The majority of the health issues on the list can be positively impacted by healthier diets, adequate sleep and exercise, the report said. The study found that 14 percent of employees responding never exercised and another 29 percent exercise 0-1 times a week. Beginning proactive wellness programs within organizations was encouraged.

Employee absenteeism is having an impact not only from employees themselves but by others in their family, a separate report by ComPsych found.

Family Medical Leave Act absences are on the rise nationwide, with manufacturing companies showing the highest rate of continuous FMLA leave of any field at 76 percent , with average leave per employee of 31.4 days a year. FMLA usage is also particularly high in hospitality and healthcare industries.