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A just-published report from sports clothes retailer Lululemon on global wellbeing has shed light on the state of the world’s mental health during the pandemic.

And while a proactive approach and positive workplace was found to boost overall wellbeing, there's no denying that maintaining a good outlook during the pandemic is a challenge.

Despite a stronger sense of wellbeing among the employed population, just 15% of those surveyed believed their employer provided resources to support their overall wellbeing.

The impact of work in wellbeing was seen most clearly in Japan, which suffered the lowest score on the regional wellbeing index, with just 21% of its citizens feeling well across all surveyed dimensions – physical, mental and social. While only one in ten said they experienced a positive work/life balance.

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The report also revealed that Gen Z had the lowest wellbeing score among all generations surveyed. A total of 92% of Gen Zers reported facing barriers that impact their wellbeing – “including stress and a lack of time, money, knowledge and resources”. 

This demographic also had the most difficulty adjusting to COVID-19 and is the generation most impacted by associated social issues. 

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“One in four Gen Zs are deeply affected by issues – including COVID-19, climate change, women’s rights and racial injustice – creating a barrier to their mental wellbeing,” the report states.

According to the report, “People coping very well during these unprecedented times are focused on simple activities to support their wellbeing.”

“The actions creating the greatest impact among those coping very well – versus those having difficulty coping – include getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, connecting with people they care about, being physically active and spending time outdoors.”

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While in the workplace, the findings have shed a light on the way companies can help build wellbeing, with a knock-on effect to resilience, with the study showing a close connection between a positive work environment and optimism for the future.

Being proactive was also a decisive factor. Individuals with a proactive mindset were significantly more likely to be optimistic about the future (53%) compared to those who were not (22%), while also more likely to enjoy good physical health and lower stress – the top two drivers of overall wellbeing.

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Graphics courtesy Lululemon