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Health Study: 1 In 5 Workers Loses Work Days Yearly Because Of Stress

Updated on May 28, 2014

Economic Recovery and Return To Work

Similar to the USA, the United Kingdom continued reaching for economic recovery from The Great Recession well into the 2010s. With an increase in jobs and a number of people returning to work, the role of stress related illnesses in increasing employer costs rose again as well.

As workers began to return to gainful employment, their bodies began to react to the increased stresses of holding down a job. This resulted in time lost from work because of illnesses, often work-stress related.

MetLife Employment Benefits conducted research in the UK into stress related disorders in the workplace and their correlation to days lost form the job in 2013. Data was gathered online from November 5 - 10, 2013 from a poll of employees nationwide. This comprised a sample size of of 2,134 working adults age 18 years and older, not considering younger teenagers and their work (as opposed to America, where 16- and 17-year-olds are often included in the numbers).

The research was overseen in the UK by an independent market research company called Consumer Intelligence.

An inordinate amount of stress will wear down any human being.
An inordinate amount of stress will wear down any human being. | Source

The United Kingdom

Important Results Of Looking at Work Stress

The MetLife work stress study results examining workdays lost in 12 months during 2012 - 2013 in the UK include the following facts:

  1. At least 1 out of every 5 employees takes time off every year from work, because of stress related health issues. Average time off work in this regard is 5 days.
  2. At least 1 out of every 10 employees takes at least 6 workdays off per year, because of work stress. The same amount of time on average was taken by workers for bereavement leave.
  3. Nearly two-thirds (about 63%) of workers would welcome employer support to improve their health.

Additional findings:

  • 10% of employees have required time off from work for sports-related injuries.
  • 8% of employees took time off, because of hangovers and other alcohol-related issues.

Related facts:

  • MetLife Employee Benefits and Commercial Intelligence found that 61% of workers in the UK received some sort of health support at work, 37% of them receiving it in the form of health advice from professionals.
  • Only 13% of workers in the U are income-protected for short- or long-term disability.

MetLife offers solutions:

  • MetLife's Proactive Protection plan for employees can help workers reduce work related stress and handle such stress more effectively. The number of workdays lost can be reduced through this program and the length of many illnesses decreased.


  • MetLife‚Äôs Brighton office.Invicta House, Trafalgar Place, BN1 4FR
  • In the UK, MetLife is located at
  • In America, MetLife is found at

MetLife, Brighton

A markerBrighton, Trafalgar Place, BN1 4FR -
Trafalgar Place, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1, UK
get directions

Health Support Services at Work

What sort of health support do you receive at your job?

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Comparison: America's Time Lost From Work

As a reference point, in 2012, research showed that American companies lost $134,000,000,000 just from time wasted by employees. Reference: International Business Times.

How about time lost from stress related health disorders? --Time lost from work because of stress related illnesses in America:

  • In 2009, 69% of workers in America stated that work is a significant source of stress.
  • A full 41% of workers reported that they feel stressed out at work.
  • In 2001, work stress cost American companies $300,000,000,000 a year.

Reference: American Psychological Association.

See: Employee Burnout - Prevention?

Lost Work Days Are Higher For Stress Related Disorders Than For Other Illnesses and Injuries

Days Away from Work  from Anxiety, Stress, and Neuroses vs. Days Lost for All Injuries and Illness.
Days Away from Work from Anxiety, Stress, and Neuroses vs. Days Lost for All Injuries and Illness. | Source

Work Stress

Cases of Stress Related Disorders Are Increasing In the American Workplace

Cases of stress related disorders attributed to the workplace reached a high in 1993 and declined until 1999, when they began rising in number across America. This was found to occur during the Bill Clinton Administration, with cases increasing in number during the George W. Bush Administration.

Reference: World Health Chart Book, 2004.

Mental health is as important as physical and dental health.
Mental health is as important as physical and dental health. | Source
Health and wellness activities can take many forms.
Health and wellness activities can take many forms. | Source


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      That's likely why some firms have "personal days" off.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I can definitely see how stress can cause one to actually become a bit ill. Sometimes, those days off for stress can help a great deal!