More than a fifth of Brits say they work more than 50 hours a week in high-stress careers, leading to an increase in cases of anxiety and depression
April is Stress Awareness Month, a period in which experts and medical professionals aim to highlight the effect of stress on our bodies and minds. Eos Scientific, has commissioned nationally representative research across a sample of more than 2000 UK adults to find out how work-life balances in the UK are affecting our health.
In a time where millennial burnout and competition for careers is at its peak, many companies are boasting of a commitment to work-life balance. Some are even going as far as to offer a four-day week.
What we do know, from both Eos Scientific’s research and from case studies, is that millions of people in employment experience an unhealthy amount of stress and anxiety.
21% of British people currently in employment, representing 6,578,126, said they worked longer than a 50-hour work week.
The ONS estimates that the average work week is just under 40 hours, the law stating that employees must not exceed a 48-hour work week. According to our research, 21% of Britain’s working population, increasing to 35% for those living in London, are exceeding the legal limit for hours worked.
30% of all Brits, representing 9,594,184 of those in employment, said that the number of hours a week they work significantly affects their mental and physical health.
For those aged 18-34, this statistic increases to almost two fifths, giving credence to the recently published reports into millennial burnout. As the generation seemingly most affected by the sharp increase in diagnoses of anxiety and depression, the effect of their work-life balances cannot be ignored.
36% of Brits – over 11 million of the working population – feel that they have had symptoms of anxiety and depression throughout their professional career, rising to just under half of those aged 18-34. Often at the beginnings of their careers, the youngest of those in employment are most affected by poor work-life balances and increased competition in the job market.
29% of British people in employment, or 9,230,177 of the population, think that their work-life balance is negatively affecting their physical and mental health.
Almost a third of Brits, or 15,262,293 of the adult population, believe that their mental health is in worse shape than it was five years ago.
Again, this deterioration is most prominent in those aged 18-34, the demographic in which 42% said that the last five years has negatively affected their mental health.
38% of Brits – more than 17.4 million – would use CBD oil to manage their mental health.
Seemingly most affected by the rise in anxiety and depression diagnoses, millennials are the group most willing to use CBD oil to manage stress, anxiety and depression. 50% would use CBD products for this.
Simon Manthorpe, CEO of Eos Scientific, comments:
“Our research is identifying a worrying trend in the UK’s workforce – one that sees millions of people experience unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety as a result of increased working hours, less time for recreational activities and a financial squeeze on everyone, including those in full-time employment.
“CBD works by affecting the endocannabinoid system and, while further research is still ongoing into the long-term benefits of using CBD to treat anxiety, initial studies suggest that CBD oil has anti-anxiety, stress-reducing and antidepressant effects.
“The number of UK users of CBD oil has almost doubled in the last year, with many claiming the cannabis-based products are a more natural and easily accessible way to manage their mental health.
“While prescribed medicine will always be the recommendation of medical professionals, we are seeing increasing numbers of people turning to more alternative remedies, not just for their mental health but for any number of ailments.”