Why are global wellbeing levels not improving?

Thailand scores highest, Japan a bottom of list, finds survey

Why are global wellbeing levels not improving?

Employees missed an average of five days of work in the past 12 months - one of the consequences of stagnating wellbeing across the world despite efforts to boost morale.

This is according to lululemon's latest report, which revealed the world's Global Wellbeing Index score has remained at 66. In fact, one in three respondents said their wellbeing is even lower than it was before.

"Global wellbeing levels have not improved over the past three years," the report said.

Among 14 markets, Thailand reported the highest wellbeing score of 79, followed by the China Mainland with 78. Other markers registered:

  • Hong Kong SAR (75)
  • Spain (71)
  • Singapore (70)
  • US (70)
  • France (70)
  • Canada (66)
  • Germany (66)
  • UK (66)
  • Australia (63)
  • South Korea (63)
  • New Zealand (62)
  • Japan (58)

A manifestation of low wellbeing among individuals is missing an average of five days of work, as well as an average of seven days of school for students, according to the report.

It also found that 58% are not the best version of themselves when their wellbeing is low.

'Wellbeing Dilemma'

The lack of improvement on wellbeing came despite stronger global effort to prioritise it, leading to a troubling paradox the report called the "Wellbeing Dilemma."

"This paradox reflects an uphill battle that people around the world are taking on with courage and little support," the report said. "Wellbeing has become another 'goal to hit,' and people are increasingly anxious that they are failing themselves and those around them."

One of the major roadblocks to recovering wellbeing is the current state of the world - with 41% of the respondents saying they feel hopeless about it. Other barriers to better wellbeing include:

  • Not having the time to think about their wellbeing (30%)
  • Not seeking help because they don't feel comfortable talking about it (33%)
  • Deprioritising their wellbeing due to cost concerns (51%)

How to improve wellbeing

Institutions, brands, and society have an important role to play in supporting the pursuit of wellbeing without creating stressful and unachievable standards, according to the report.

"It's time to introduce a softer take on self-care - one where the journey towards being well includes enjoyable, simple acts of movement, mindfulness, and connection," the report said.

It also outlined the following measures that people with higher wellbeing carried out, including:

  • Working out or exercising with other people when possible
  • Prioritising spending time with loved ones
  • Working to express all emotions, not just the positive ones

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