80% of Hong Kong people do not have enough time to de-stress
Hong Kong，10 Oct 2019
80% of Hong Kong people do not have enough time to de-stress, survey says
Dedicating more time to simple and enjoyable activities could help relieve stress and lead longer, healthier, happier lives
- Almost 80% of respondents do not think they spend enough time to de-stress due to the lack of free time (51%), laziness (28%) or limited spending capabilities (24%)
- Almost half of the women weighted 7 or above for their stress level whereas over 60% of men weighted themselves between 5 and 7
- More women expressed concerns about mental health (77%) compared to men (69%), and about 40% of women were able to recognise most of the early symptoms of mental health problems, while only around 20% of men were able to do so
- The majority of women preferred to talk to friends (59%), eat (48%) and listen to music (42%) to relieve stress, while for men, over 40% of them would turn to physical exercise
[Hong Kong – 10 October 2019] In light of World Mental Health Day, Bupa Hong Kong, the leading health insurance specialist, published its latest mental health survey report today, which revealed that despite awareness of mental health among the majority of respondents, over half of them suffer from insomnia when under pressure and almost 80% of them do not think they spend enough time to de-stress. As a healthcare partner for Hong Kong people, Bupa believes that stress management is essential for maintaining a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, and can be successfully achieved without spending too much time or money.
The Bupa survey was conducted in September 2019, with 706 respondents in Hong Kong participating online. 75% of respondents showed concern about their state of mental health, and generally people were able to identify some early symptoms of mental health problems, indicating that awareness among Hong Kong people is significant. However, almost 80% of respondents said that they do not spend enough time to de-stress due to the lack of free time (51%), laziness (28%) or limited spending capabilities (24%).
Women are more concerned about mental health and experience more stress than men
The survey showed that more women expressed concerns about mental health (77%) compared to men (69%), and about 40% of women were able to recognise most of the early symptoms of mental illness, such as experiencing unusually negative emotions, often feeling tired or hopeless, or avoiding contact with others etc., while only around 20% of men were able to identify.
Insomnia ranked first for both women and men as the main symptom when facing stress. Women also chose “being emotional” as another leading symptom, while “being reluctant to talk with others” was a top choice for men. Almost 30% of women have visited a doctor due to their stress symptoms.
Both women (61%) and men (70%) ranked work as the top source of stress, followed by family (55%) and finances (52%) for women, while men ranked finances (65%) over family (48%).
“It is interesting to see from the survey that almost half of the women weighted 7 or above for their stress level whereas 60% of men weighted between 5 and 7, indicating that women had a slightly higher chance of reporting stress than men,” said Dr. SiNing Zhao, Medical Director, Bupa Hong Kong. “Women and men also tend to react differently to stress triggers – both psychologically and biologically – due to different sex hormones, neurological makeup and genetic factors, biochemical compositions, as well as social and developmental differences.”
“De-stressing in stressful times” – stress management tips by expert
The survey revealed the differences between women and men in dealing with stress and de-stressing. The majority of women preferred to talk to friends (59%), eat (48%) and listen to music (42%) in order to de-stress, while for men, over 40% of them preferred doing exercise to de-stress, over talking to friends (39%) and listening to music (37%).
“People have many misconceptions around stress management and often think that it requires a lot of extra effort, which explains why the majority of respondents thought they failed to dedicate enough time to de-stressing,” added Dr. Zhao. “In fact, de-stressing can be achieved through simple and fun activities. Just by taking little steps in our everyday lives can bring a positive impact to our health. We do need to be mindful of enjoying certain activities at a moderate level in order to avoid other health risks. For example, while eating can help some of us de-stress, an excessive amount of food consumption could lead to potential health risks. If people experience difficulties with de-stressing as well as other mental health issues, we always advise them to seek professional support from specialists, the earlier the better.”
“Mental health shouldn’t be seen differently from physical health. It should be a part of the total health and wellness that we all need to focus on. Everyone has an important role to play in encouraging people to speak up about their mental health issues,” said Dr. Zhao.
Tips to de-stress in a simple way:
- Spend time in nature
This not only helps relieve stress and anxiety, but also boosts happiness and wellbeing. If you are too busy for this, simply enjoy a lunch with your colleagues or friends at a park near your office.
- Engage in yoga and stretching
Yoga and stretching helps relax the body and mind. You could also make this a family-friendly activity, which enables you to interact more with your kids in your spare time.
- Take a hot bath
Soaking in warm water after a long, busy day can be the ultimate form of relaxation. This also helps soothe tired muscles and offers an escape from your mental stressors. You could also consider playing some relaxing music during your bath time.
- Play like kids and have a good laugh
Apart from hanging out with cheerful and happy friends, playing like kids (e.g. bubble, clay dough) is also effective in boosting one’s mood. Laughter is a great way to improve your wellbeing and positively influence you.
DISCLAIMER: Any views or information mentioned and set out in this press release are based on general situations. Readers should not regard them as medical advices or medical recommendations. Readers are recommended to seek independent advice from suitable professionals (such as doctors, psychologists, etc.) if needed.
Bupa – A global healthcare specialist
Bupa began in the UK in 1947. We fund healthcare around the world and run clinics, hospitals, dental centres, care homes, and more. With no shareholders, we reinvest our profits to provide more and better healthcare for customers.
Bupa is UK’s largest health insurer.* In Hong Kong, we are known as the health insurance specialist. We have gained the trust of more than 400,000 individuals, and 3,200 companies including major corporations in public utility and telecom industry. We have provided quality health insurance for Hong Kong’s civil servants for more than 20 years.
Bupa also provides primary care services through Quality HealthCare Medical Services (QHMS), one of Hong Kong’s largest private clinic networks.
Bupa Global is the international health insurance arm of Bupa, serving 2 million customers around the world. We provide products and services for globally minded and mobile people who want the most premium coverage and access to the healthcare they need anytime, anywhere in the world, whether at home or when studying, living, travelling or working abroad.
* Source: LaingBuisson Health Cover UK Market Report 15th Edition, published 16 October 2018, in terms of market share by premium income among private medical insurance providers