Most Americans Don’t Prepare
For Illness Or Injury That Puts Their Income At Risk
part-time workers were aware of preventive measures that protect them
from injury and illness, nor were they prepared for loss of salary due
to layoff, injury, or illness, found a Yankelovich survey conducted for
CIGNA that explored attitudes toward work.
third said they had actively prepared for being sidelined due to an
injury or illness, even though nearly 9 out of 10 said they know there
were steps they could take to protect themselves. When asked what can
be done to prepare for the possibility of being out of work for an
extended period of time, fewer than 2 in 10 (16 percent) saw trying to
be healthier or staying well as a strategy.
percent of workers surveyed said they "live to work," compared to the
36 percent who "work to live." Among those people in the "live to work"
category: 33 percent said their work gives them satisfaction; 18
percent love their job and would continue working even if they won the
lottery; and 12 percent find their job brings structure and purpose to
their life, the survey found. These responses were classified as "live
to live" perspective, 15 percent of people surveyed said they work
primarily for the paycheck; 8 percent would rather be doing something
else but felt stuck due to the bad economy; 8 percent felt their job is
just okay and work mainly for benefits like insurance; while 6 percent
said they’d rather be retired but need to save more money.
annual cost of poor health in the workplace is estimated to be $1.8
trillion, according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine. Even in this struggling economy, employers are investing in
workplace wellness programs. For example, a recent Hewitt Associates
survey indicates 65 percent of employers said they invest in long-term
solutions to improve the overall health and productivity of their
workforce and also reveals an emerging interest in absence management.
Another study, by Watson Wyatt (now part of Towers Watson) and the
National Business Group on Health reports that 72 percent of employers
with at least 1,000 employees have enhanced their onsite offeringswith
health coaching, stress management programs or employee assistance
programs – or they plan to offer these types of programs in
next 12 months.
percent of workers in the Yankelovich survey readily identified
workplace wellness programs as a way to help them prepare for the
possibility of an injury or illness keeping them out of work for more
than just a few days. Instead, they focus on strategies such as saving
more money as a financial cushion or purchasing new or additional
disability insurance. Nine percent cited employee assistance programs.
uncertainty of the past few years has forced many Americans to start
thinking ahead and change their personal habits. The U.S. Department of
Commerce reports Americans are saving more now than they did in the
last 10 years. According to the Live to Work survey, of those who said
they prepared for a possible layoff, 71 percent said they saved more
Work survey also asked people how successful they were in balancing
their work and personal life. An impressive 92 percent said
they’re successful in striking a healthy balance, and 71
said their employer does a good job in helping them chieve this
balance. However, 64 percent said they would find it valuable to learn
more about what they could do better to maintain a healthy balance.
CIGNA, Two Liberty Place, 1601 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19192;
(215) 761-111, www.cigna.com.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, LWW Business
Offices, Two Commerce Square, 2001 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103;
(215) 521-8300, www.lww.com.
Hewitt Associates, 100 Half Day Rd., Lincolnshire, IL 60069-3342; (847)
Towers Watson, 875 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022; www.towerwatson.com.
National Business Group on Health, 50 F St. NW, Ste. 600, Washington DC
20001; (202) 628-9320, www.businessgrouphealth.org.