Recent research from Unum (NYSE: UNM), a leading provider of leave management services and employee benefits in the U.S., details the prevalence of stress and behavioral health concerns among the nation’s men. In support of Men’s Health Month, insight from recent consumer research, claims data and Unum professionals include:
Men experience many sources of stress
In a Unum-commissioned consumer poll among U.S. adults earlier this year, nearly half (47 percent) of men said they experience stress or anxiety at least once or twice a week. Among these guys, finances (45 percent), home life and family (37 percent), job responsibilities (33 percent) and personal health (32 percent) were the leading stress triggers. Stress has physical, behavioral and cognitive side effects. While it can manifest differently from person to person, common signs include a significant change in quality of work, professional demeanor or personality.
“Stress impacts worker productivity and can escalate over time to more serious health concerns and absences,” said Greg Breter, senior vice president of Benefits at Unum. “While stress may not be reported as the primary cause of absence, it’s often the underlying issue that caused or exacerbated another health condition and slowed down recovery.”
Younger men file more behavioral health disability claims
According to 2017 Unum claims data, behavioral health issues account for 11 percent of short-term disability claims from Millennial men and 9 percent of GenX men. For Millennial men, behavioral health issues are the second-most prevalent short-term disability claim (behind injury) and for GenX men, it’s the fifth.
Finances are the top cause of stress among men
In addition to finding that 45 percent of men were stressed about their finances, Unum’s consumer study also found that half of households would not be able to pay bills for more than two months if they were unable to work and earn an income. About one in four (27 percent) could pay bills for only a month.
Personal finance expert Laura Adams recommends taking a mid-year financial checkup. Her first tip is to maintain an emergency savings fund.
“Ideally, you should have three to six months’ worth of living expenses on hand in case your income dries up or you have a large unexpected expense,” said Adams. “But if you’re starting from scratch or have substantially less savings, remember that having some cash to fall back on is better than none.”
In addition to maintaining a healthy emergency fund, another key way to safeguard your finances from the unexpected is to have the right insurance. One in three adults will become disabled for at least three months sometime during their working years.
For more insight and tips on living healthy and reducing stress, visit WorkWell.