Home Media OutReach AXA Study: Hong Kong Gen Z’s mind health at higher risk with only one in ten individuals flourishing
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AXA Study: Hong Kong Gen Z’s mind health at higher risk with only one in ten individuals flourishing

Tech addiction exacerbates young people’s mental health problems

HONG KONG SAR 5 September 2023 – AXA Hong Kong and Macau (“AXA”) today released the second phase of the annual AXA Study of Mind Health and Wellbeing 2023 (“the Study”), which assessed the state of mind health[1] across the globe. The Study revealed that the Gen Z group (aged 18 to 26 years old) in Hong Kong have lower overall mind health as only one in ten respondents stated that they are flourishing, compared to one in five for the overall respondents. 67.2% of the Gen Z respondents also reported experiencing moderate to extreme stress levels over the last year, which is 14% higher compared to the overall respondents (53.1%).

Loneliness and body image issues made worse by tech addiction

While there are multiple factors contributing to poorer mind health among Gen Z, 64% of Gen Z individuals in Hong Kong stated that technology addiction and obsessive social media have exacerbated the issue.

Indeed, among the Gen Z respondents impacted by social media and technology addiction, 71% reported that they feel lonely and 80% said they struggle with negative body image issues (versus 43% and 51%, respectively, of the overall Gen Z respondents not affected by addiction), while only 5% considered themselves to be flourishing, which is half of the overall percentage among the age group.

Always-on culture: a detriment to wellbeing and productivity

These addiction issues have also spilled over into the workplace, as the increasing prevalence of remote working has perpetuated the “always-on” culture in the post-pandemic world. 44% of the employed Gen Z respondents said they find it difficult to separate their work from their personal life, while 40% reported that the hours they are expected to work causes them distress. This highlights the increasingly blurred boundaries between work and personal life, which could be detrimental to Gen Z’s wellbeing and productivity.

Andrea Wong, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, AXA Hong Kong and Macau said, “The findings of the AXA Mind Health Study underscore the need to enhance the overall wellbeing of Gen Z individuals in Hong Kong. While this group is more vulnerable to stress and can experience negative emotions in a tech-saturated world, there are steps that young people can take to improve their mind health, including setting technology boundaries, improving time management, creating a healthy work-life balance, as well as spending quality time with families and friends. Furthermore, as an advocate for holistic wellness, AXA was one of the first employers to introduce a series of employee wellness programmes, including mental health care support, hybrid work arrangements, skill and job matching, and skill development support, all of which enables employees to strike a better work-life balance and have a more positive outlook in the workplace.”

Aspiring to achieve financial prosperity, yet weighed down by uncertainty

The Study revealed that financial prosperity is a top priority among the younger generation in Hong Kong. When asked about their one “big wish,” 38% of the city’s Gen Z individuals said they aspire to “become rich” and only 18% of Gen Z in Hong Kong see achieving perfect physical health as their biggest wish, compared to 34% among the general population.

However, 44% of Gen Z respondents reported that their current financial situation causes them significant stress, and only 30% said they feel secure about their financial future, which indicates that financial uncertainty is a major source of stress. As this group of people is still at an early stage of their career, hence they are advised to start financial planning early on so they can reap the benefits of a more stable and secured financial future.

As the pioneer insurer to promote holistic wellness, AXA has launched a series of initiatives in Hong Kong, including the annual AXA BetterMe event, as well as the Mind Charger services on the “Emma by AXA” mobile app, which helps customers and the community to build healthy lifestyles and practice mindfulness. By addressing the challenges faced by Gen Z head-on, AXA will continue to support the younger generation thrive both personally and professionally.

Study of Mind Health and Wellbeing (AXA Mind Health Study)

AXA Mind Health Study is an annual study of mind health and wellbeing to assess the current state of mind health across the globe, and to provide individuals and businesses with the insights and advice needed to foster positive mind health.

AXA Mind Health Study 2023 was conducted in collaboration with IPSOS between September and October 2022 by means of online survey and online interviews among a total of 30,000 respondents aged between 18 to 74 years old across 16 European, American and Asian regions, namely France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, US, Mexico, mainland China and Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Philippines.

In Hong Kong, a total of 2,336 respondents aged between 18 and 74 were surveyed.

[1] The report uses the term mind health rather than mental health to emphasise the positive objective of the study which is to help break down the stigma still associated with mental illness

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