AIA Vitality 2019 survey reveals that the Malaysian workforce are stressed and sleep-deprived

AT the Malaysia’s Healthiest Workplace Summit 2019 on Nov 15, AIA Bhd revealed the results of the Malaysia’s Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality 2019 survey, which demonstrated that Malaysian employees are overworked, and sleep deprived with 51% of employees suffering from at least one dimension of work-related stress and 53% getting less than seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

Conducted annually, the survey by the leading life and health insurance provider aimed to understand how workplaces are able to affect employee health, relating the health of employees to their performance and engagement at work.

AIA recorded a participation of 230 organisations of different sizes and sectors across Malaysia for the survey, representing a combined workforce of 17,595 employees.

This year, the survey attracted the participation of nearly twice as many organisations in Malaysia than the year before, indicating the increased importance placed by corporate Malaysia to understand the state of health in their respective organisations.

“The success of a nation is dependent on the health of its people and initiatives such as the Malaysia’s Healthiest Workplace survey become increasingly crucial as more and more Malaysians enter the workforce every year. I am happy to see even more organisations participating in this survey and contributing to this important discussion,” said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

One of the biggest revelations by the survey is the growing culture of overworking within organisations in Malaysia, which is attributed to several factors across the spectrum of mental well-being, clinical health, work environment and sleep.

The 2019 survey findings revealed that mental health problems continue to be on the rise with 22% of employees reporting that they had a lot of financial concerns at present. Additionally, 20% of employees continue to be affected by workplace bullying which overall contributed to their stress at work.

Long hours at the office hunching over computers have also contributed to the culture of overworking, manifesting in clinical health conditions and sleep deprivation. The survey highlighted that 84% of employees reported at least one or more musculoskeletal conditions while more than half of the respondents indicated that they had less than seven hours of sleep every day with 14% noting that they had poor or very poor quality sleep.

The winners of the Malaysia’s Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality 2019 Awards were also announced, where 15 companies were recognised for their respective efforts in promoting workplace health and creating a healthy environment for their employees.