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More than two-thirds of City Workers ignore health issues due to work demands

23 July 2015

The physical and mental health of the City of London is under acute pressure as a direct result of the working practices within the Square Mile. This is according to the latest research conducted by London Bridge Hospital, which operates three Outpatients Centres in the City of London.

According to the research, a staggering 68 percent of City Workers are ignoring health problems as a result of work commitments. The study, which assessed over 250 workers within the City, has highlighted work-related healthcare issues specific to City of London professionals. The research also found that 37.8 percent of the sample had a physical health issue they ignored, while 14.3 per cent had not sought treatment for a mental health issue. In both cases 89 per cent of the sample felt that their health issue had been exacerbated by work.

Dr Paul Mallett, Consultant Psychiatrist at 31 Old Broad Street in the City of London, comments on the negativity of the culture: “There is a continuing ‘macho’ work culture in male city workers, which means that weakness in these cannot be admitted. Unfortunately feeling a concern about a health problem, whether this is physical or mental health, is not in line with this culture and can be viewed as weakness. Even if city workers could find the time within their long hours to visit a doctor, the negative culture in these offices is not likely to encourage such behaviour."

“Whilst the higher rewards and status of working in finance in the city may well compensate for the pressure and the job insecurity, not prioritising health concerns can have long-term effects. There are other risks specific to this demographic as well, in particular the involvement of drug and alcohol use, which only exacerbates concerns about not prioritising health."

“There are also issues for those working in these jobs where they are promoted beyond their comfort zone, from technical to managerial roles, and face pressure, and struggle, as a result.”

The study revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of all people working in the City of London are facing challenges in their day-to-day activity because of a health problem which has lasted or is expected to last at least a year.

Key findings:

  • 68 percent of the sample stated they actively ignore health problems as a result of work demands
  • 48 percent of City workers are limited in their day-to-day activities because of a health problem which has lasted or is expected to last at least a year and when asked if this had been exacerbated by work 89 per cent believed that it had been
  • 39.4 percent of bankers reported that they would like to see physiotherapy services provided in the City of London, 31 per cent want to see cardiac services and a 24 per cent see a personal need for psychological services
  • 42 percent of the sample have taken time off work due to stress related illnesses, with a staggering 82.5 per cent reporting that their job has caused them stress some or all of the time

Mr Gordon Muir, Consultant Urological Surgeon at London Bridge Hospital commented: “The demands of city work lead workers to not only suffer from more work-related stress and health concerns, but also to have difficulties finding the time to prioritise these concerns, because of work commitments. Many City workers see themselves as irreplaceable, which leads many to not take the time out for their health."

“I have recently seen a man who ignored a testicular tumour for over a month (fortunately it was still curable) and another who had missed several appointments for a prostate problem which has eventually caused him to develop a bladder stone. This requires surgery which may not have been needed had he not ignored it and come earlier.”

Due to the demands of working in the City, nearly a quarter of city workers would prefer access to a specialist near their place of work. With physiotherapy and joint services reported as a priority for city workers, nearly 40 percent (39.4 percent) of bankers have said they would like to see these services provided in the City of London.

For more information contact us on info.lbh@hcahealthcare.co.uk.