New CSS study paints bleak picture of public health in Switzerland

New CSS study paints bleak picture of public health in Switzerland

From sleeping problems and stress to a lack of exercise and risk of burnout, a significant number of people in Switzerland are not feeling 100 percent at the moment, the annual health report by CSS has revealed. The health insurance provider found that more people in the alpine nation are feeling ill and exhausted, with the majority of those affected being young or over 65.

Health of the Swiss population worse than before pandemic

According to the report, the overall health of the Swiss population is still worse than it was before the COVID pandemic. Only two-thirds of the 2.432 people surveyed by CSS said that they felt always or mostly well in 2023, a drop of almost 10 percent compared to last year.

More than a quarter of respondents said that they regularly suffer from tiredness and exhaustion. Sleep problems were cited as the main reason for tiredness, followed by lack of exercise and "overwhelming social life." Work also has its role to play, with more than a third of respondents reporting that their job encroached on their free time, while nearly three-quarters said they think about working while clocked off.

Elderly and the young most affected by illness

The biggest health deterioration was recorded among people over 65 years old, with 46 percent reporting that they don’t feel completely healthy - in 2020, it was 30 percent. Amid record-high rates of sick leave, seniors take the most time off due to illness at 4,5 days a year on average, up from 2,6 days in 2020. Overall, working men still take less sick leave than women (4,1 days compared to 5,1), and women are more likely to report exhaustion, tiredness, pain, illness, stress and depression.

In addition, the study noted that around 40 percent of young adults (18 to 35-year-olds) said that their emotions are poor or mixed in 2023, a 3 percent improvement compared to last year. In terms of specific groups, women between the ages of 41 and 50 are the most likely to be stressed. “It is the age at which professional and family stress often mix,” the study explained. Two out of five surveyed said they do not seek any help if they are feeling mentally unwell.

Living a fulfilling life more important than a long one, survey finds

Finally, the CSS study asked what a person's priority for life should be. Interestingly, over half of respondents said that living a high-quality and fulfilling life was the most important, followed by those who said a healthy life is key. Only 2 percent said that living a long life is the most important.

If you have been affected by the subjects raised in the piece, here are some helpful links:

For more information about the study, check out the CSS website (in German).

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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