UK workers place greater importance on their mental health than physical health

As part of World Mental Health Day, new research from Unmind has found that UK workers place greater importance on their mental health than their physical health.

The research analysed 2,099 UK adults and found that that two thirds of workers (65% ) consider their mental health to be very important, compared to less than half (44%) considering their physical health to be of equal importance.

Compiled in partnership with YouGov and released to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2019, the study examines awareness and tracking of mental health in the workplace.

Mental health still costs British companies £34.9bn annually, an average of £1,300 per worker. However, today’s research shows that workers are starting to appreciate the importance of effective mental health management, and that after decades of stigma, the conversation around mental health is positively changing.

Nearly one in five UK workers (18 per cent) now actively track their mental health. Whilst this is still less than those tracking their physical health (50 per cent), it is an encouraging rise in the number of employees and employers recognising the importance of workplace wellbeing.

The research examined attitudes towards mental and physical health across a number of different demographics. It showed that women put a slightly greater importance on their mental health (72 per cent)) vs for physical health (54 per cent), and that working women are more likely to track their mental and physical health (22% and 53%), than men (14% and 47% respectively).

Dr. Nick Taylor, Co-Founder of Unmind, said: “Our mental health is one of the most incredible things about being human, and a healthy mind is an influential factor in fulfilling our potential. As the workplace evolves, employers increasingly want people to bring their authentic selves to work and contribute with their personalities, experience and instincts, as much as their skill set.

“By tracking our mental health, we can begin to appreciate which areas of our life are going well and which areas we may need to give greater attention to. This is what being proactive means.

“When we feel our mental health is thriving it positively impacts all other areas of our life, and means we’re in a strong position to contribute fully to the world around us. Ultimately, when this happens, everyone benefits- including the organisations we work for.”