Pressure on mortgage holders is leaving Briton struggling to cope with their mental and physical health according to a wellbeing service called Unmind.
According to its survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, some of the most serious consequences are playing out in the workplace.
At a time where the UK economy continues to struggle to recover, productivity levels are suffering, with 53 per cent of Britons saying the mortgage rates and cost of living crisis are having a negative impact on their ability to do their job as normal.
Some 49 per cent of respondents reported having taken time off work due to stress in the last six months, with the impact being particularly strongly felt by both young people (two thirds of 16 to 25 year olds) and those over 55 (72 per cent). Overall, a third say the crisis is having a negative impact on their ability to focus at work, and over a quarter say that they are experiencing more ‘brain fog’ and subsequently, are making more mistakes than normal (27 per cent).
Two in five respondents reported experiencing sleep issues, and almost the same number said their energy levels were lower than usual.
Those polled said that eating comfort foods (36 per cent), drinking alcohol (19 per cent) and smoking or vaping (14 per cent) were all ways of dealing with the current financial crisis, while 55% said they were doing nothing at all to alleviate their stress and anxiety.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, personal relationships are also suffering during this turbulent time, with over a quarter (26 per cent) of those questioned saying that their relationships with loved ones have been impacted by the crisis. This increases to 32 per cent for those between 35 and 44, corresponding with the average age of a first time house-buyer in the UK and the average age of first time parents and their first few years of parenting.
Commenting on the results, Dr Heather Bolton - director of science at Unmind - says: “These results show the profound impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s mental and physical health, relationships and work life. Exposure to chronic stress and uncertainty can increase our vulnerability to unhelpful coping behaviours, mental health difficulties and greater feelings of isolation.
“Poor mental health isn’t inevitable when exposed to financial difficulty, and employers can play a key role in protecting their workforce. Proactive, workplace-level guidance – such as access to psychological support and financial advice – can reduce the impact of stress on our health.”
And service co-founder Dr Nick Taylor adds: “Our data clearly shows that the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on mortgage rates is negatively affecting the mental and physical health of the nation. Not only is this impacting productivity, in some instances it's even forcing people out of work and into economic inactivity thus compounding the problem.
"At a time when the UK's productivity is lagging, business leaders have a responsibility to support their teams’ mental and physical wellbeing, enabling performance. Leaders have everything to gain: a happier, more engaged workforce, which will in turn boost productivity and ultimately their bottom line.”