BLOOMFIELD, Conn., October 26, 2023 –Despite increases in work stress and loneliness, Americans are feeling more optimistic than last year, with nearly half of adults (47%) looking forward to each day, according to the latest vitality research from global health company The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI). The second annual Vitality in America report confirms that while overall vitality levels have plateaued, the rise in optimism outpaced the challenges and stressors Americans experienced in areas of personal health, finances and job satisfaction over the last year.
“The disruption of the past few years has had a profound impact on our collective health and well-being, and we now have an unprecedented opportunity to change the way health and vitality is addressed in this country,” said David M. Cordani, chairman and CEO of The Cigna Group. “That's why we developed the Evernorth Vitality Index — a scientifically validated measurement that allows us to quantify and analyze the dynamic, interdependent factors that infuse vitality into all the dimensions of a person's life. While these insights guide us to work that can be done to improve vitality, we know we’ll be most effective working in collaboration across every aspect of our community, patient by patient, person by person.”
Adults are most stressed about their finances (40%), followed by their housing conditions (25%), work (25%), family or social relationships (25%), and health (24%).
Black respondents had the highest vitality score than any other race/ethnicity, and their high vitality rate is 7 points higher than their white counterparts (24% vs. 17%).
Workers who report being satisfied with their jobs have higher vitality scores (73.9 out of 100) than those who are dissatisfied with their jobs (55.7).
Healthy habits and health engagement are linked to higher vitality.
Although Gen Z continues to report the lowest levels of vitality, they are gaining ground in building vitality while other generations stagnate or decline.
Gen Z adults, the newest members of the workforce, continue to report the lowest levels of vitality.
The second annual Vitality in America report by The Cigna Group found that despite increases in work stress and loneliness, Americans are feeling more optimistic than last year. Tweet
Key Findings include:
U.S. adults across generations feel stressed this year, but optimism is increasing. Adults are most stressed about their finances (40%), followed by their housing conditions (25%), work (25%), family or social relationships (25%), and health (24%). At the same time, 47% of adults now report looking forward to each new day (up from 43% last year), and 41% report feeling alive and vital (compared with 39% last year).
Healthy habits and health engagement are linked to higher vitality. The 18% of adults with high vitality are more likely to report excellent or very good overall physical health than those with low vitality. A significant majority – 92% – report getting at least five hours of sleep per day and 77% report feeling well-rested always or often. More than half (55%) of high vitality people with health insurance use their medical benefits often or sometimes vs. 36% for low vitality counterparts.
Higher health engagement; support systems can help adults managing chronic conditions be more resilient and vital. Adults diagnosed with cancer, for example, who report high levels of vitality are more likely to visit their doctor for an annual physical (89% for high-vitality adults with cancer vs. 69% for low vitality adults with cancer) and feel listened to (87% vs. 32%) and appreciated by their clinicians (81% vs. 30%).
Mental health is foundational to vitality. Adults with strong mental health are 10 times more likely to have high vitality than those with fair or poor mental health. The study found there is an increase in those receiving counseling from a mental health professional from 2022 to 2023 (20% to 24%). This is an encouraging trend and demonstrates that more people are getting the help they need.
Helping workers improve their vitality yields results. Workers who report being satisfied with their jobs have higher vitality scores (73.9 out of 100) than those who are dissatisfied with their jobs (55.7), and 82% of workers with high vitality report pursuing tasks that interest them at work (vs. just 9% of low vitality working adults). Conversely, individuals with lower levels of vitality tend to feel less capable at work, feel less confident they can do their job well, and are less willing to work harder to help the company succeed.
Gen Z adults, the newest members of the workforce, continue to report the lowest levels of vitality: Gen Z adults continue to report feelings of loneliness, low levels of resilience, and report feeling disconnected from their family and friends. Thirty-five percent of Gen Z adults rate their mental health as poor, and 53% cite mental health as the most important health problem facing their generation. Gen Z women in particular report poor mental health, with only a quarter (26%) describing their mental health as excellent or very good, vs. 43% for Gen Z men. Eighty-three percent of Gen Z adults report some form of negative consequences from social media, significantly higher than older generations. Although Gen Z continues to report the lowest levels of vitality, they are gaining ground in building vitality while other generations stagnate or decline. Relatedly, Gen Z indicates higher levels of energy and optimism this year and many feel the life opportunities available to them personally are extremely or very promising.
“Despite encouraging increases in optimism, financial concerns and lingering mental health challenges are prevalent, and they continue to affect people’s overall well-being,” said Dr. David Brailer, chief health officer, The Cigna Group. “Importantly, we also continue to see the significant impact vitality has on people’s success in their professional lives, both in our research and in early pilots of the Evernorth Vitality Index with employers. People with higher vitality are more present in their jobs, more productive, and perform their roles to a higher standard, indicating that employers both have an important role to play and see the benefits of investing in their employees’ health and vitality.”
In an early pilot with an employer of more than 3,000 employees who have been enrolled in health plan coverage for at least 12 months, the Evernorth Vitality Index (EVI) provided unique population health insights. For example, vitality scores in the pilot population averaged 10 points higher for employees with positive manager relationships than those with poor manager relationships (80 vs 70). Those with high vitality were also more than 20 points more likely to be very satisfied with their job (85 vs 62). Looking at these and other drivers within each dimension of health, the EVI provides deeper insights into targeted actions and interventions that may be able to move population level improvements.
The Vitality in America survey, which builds on last year’s report, uses the EVI to understand the capacity of U.S. adults to pursue life with health, strength, and energy. Vitality is composed of eight interdependent, dynamic dimensions of health and well-being: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. A person’s perceived ability to make choices and engage willingly, develop skills and capacities, and connect to others across these life domains impacts their vitality. The insights come from a survey of 10,000 adults conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by The Cigna Group. Read the full report here.
To support vitality in communities, The Cigna Group Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to the Y-USA. This funding will support programming in Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Houston, and Phoenix. Programs across all markets are designed to help teens and young adults develop leadership and post-college skills and offer older adults more opportunities for social connection and healthy activities to improve overall mental wellness.
About The Cigna Group
The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI) is a global health company committed to creating a better future built on the vitality of every individual and every community. We relentlessly challenge ourselves to partner and innovate solutions for better health. The Cigna Group includes products and services marketed under Evernorth Health Services, Cigna Healthcare, or its subsidiaries. The Cigna Group maintains sales capabilities in more than 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 165 million customer relationships around the world. Learn more at thecignagroup.com.