Recession Misery Makes National Sickie Day A Greater Cause For Concern, UK

February 2, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Christmas blues, freezing weather and the long wait until summer means today (Monday 2 February) is statistically the worst day for absenteeism. But this year’s recession woes may make today’s annual National Sickie Day the worst yet, according to research from Friends Provident.

Compared to three years ago – pre-credit crunch woes – nearly two thirds of the nation (61 per cent) feel more prone to illness, more stressed, and less fit and healthy today according to the Britain Under Pressure report. Credit crunch concerns mean that one in five (19 per cent) people are sleeping less while more than a third (37 per cent) are worrying more. This could potentially trigger anything from headaches to clinical depression, or a range of stress-related illnesses.

National Sickie Day could become a much more serious and long-term problem in years to come, as Britons anticipate their unhealthy habits will get worse. The research, by leading protection provider Friends Provident, found that 18-30-year-olds are displaying the most unhealthy habits; with 51 per cent regularly getting take aways, 36 per cent frequently buying ready meals and 35 per cent drinking more than they should.

Mark Jones, head of protection at Friends Provident, said:

“Our research shows that the UK’s health is being affected by the credit crunch. As Britons feel increasingly unwell and stressed, action is needed. People need to make more effort to protect and care for themselves, otherwise National Sickie Day could be the start of a long-term national health issue.”

The report showed that counteracting unhealthy lifestyles is low on the list of priorities for many Britons. Almost half the nation (49 per cent) never or hardly ever exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week, while 33 per cent rarely or never eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. And only one in five (20 per cent) acknowledge that they do all they can to look after their body and health.

Issued on behalf of Friends Provident Life and Pensions Limited.

The research

The Britain Under Pressure research and report was commissioned by Friends Provident and is based on independent research undertaken by The Next Big Thing in August 2008.

The research for the Britain Under Pressure report was undertaken using two focus groups. A OnePoll survey was also conducted by 72 Point in August 2008 and surveyed 2,713 adults across the UK.

About Friends Provident

Friends Provident plc is a UK-listed life and pensions company, originally founded in 1832 to alleviate the hardship of Quaker families facing misfortune. Friends Provident’s strategy today is to operate in markets where it can deploy its award-winning strengths in technology and service to gain competitive advantage. Since its demutualisation in 2001, the company has developed strong offerings in pensions and protection to complement its historic With Profits business, and now prioritises international growth. Friends Provident is fully committed to the principles of the FSA initiative ‘Treating Customers Fairly’.

Friends Provident distributes its products through intermediaries in the UK and around the world. Its key business lines in the UK are protection and corporate pensions. Friends Provident International develops competitive savings, investment and pensions products for a broad and diverse range of markets including Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Germany.

Friends Provident wholly owns the Luxembourg-based company Lombard, a leading pan-European life assurance company which specialises in the use of life assurance as a wealth management solution for high net-worth investors, and Sesame, a leading UK supplier of intermediary support services to financial advisers providing services to over 7,500 financial advisers across the UK offering life assurance, mortgages and savings arrangements.

About Friends Provident Protection Business

Friends Provident has been writing term assurance since the company’s foundation in 1832 and income protection business since 1882.

Our award winning eSelect system offers online underwriting for term assurance, critical illness and waiver of premium, capable of accepting on ordinary rates or with special terms. The majority of Friends Provident’s new protection business is transacted online. This process allows end-to-end online electronic processing and account servicing ranging from new business quotations to new business tracking.

For more information on Friends Provident including, images, awards, fast facts, presentations, and media contacts please visit the media section at

Friends Provident



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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