What do 9,225 health screenings tell us about the health of workers in Ireland?

Pen Sinéad Proos Glasses 4 min read

Irish workers stuggle with day to day finances and health worries*

  • Financial worries continue to dominate Irish workers
  • 74% of Irish workers are unhappy with their weight
  • Two in five (44%) of Irish workers experience anxiety


Struggling financially continues to be one of the main worries of Irish workers, with over a quarter (26%) saying they always or often struggle financially from day to day. Almost half (44%) of Irish workers experience anxiety some days and further 7% experiencing anxiety most days.

Fresh insights into the health and wellbeing of Irish workers, collated from 9,225 health screenings carried out across industry sectors by laya healthcare, Ireland’s largest corporate health and wellbeing provider, were revealed today in the run up to Workplace Wellbeing Day which takes place on Friday, 12th April.

The other main area of concern highlighted in the research was the overall physical health of Irish workers. We are a nation that is aware of needing to improve our mental and physical health, with an overwhelming 70% of workers admitting they want to lose weight while three quarters of workers (74%) are trying to or are thinking about adapting healthier lifestyles.

However, despite the drive to live healthier, over two in five (45%) are unaware of their cholesterol and over half (51%) are concerned with their current eating habits.


Other key findings from the major health screening activity among Ireland’s workers include:


Mental Wellbeing

  • Over 16% of Irish workers often feel tense, anxious or upset while over 7% suffer from general anxiety most days.
  • Less than half (44%) describe their levels of happiness as ‘Very good’, with over one in ten (11%) saying their happiness levels are ‘Fair or poor’.
  • Within the last six months, one in ten (13%) of workers describe regularly experiencing mood swings, which take their moods from very high to very low.


Physical Health

  • When it comes to physical health 48% of total males screened were classed as overweight, with 18% classed as obese while 28% of total females were classed as overweight, with 16% classed as obese.
  • In terms of industry specifics, people who work in manufacturing were more likely to be obese with a quarter of males (25%) and 33% of females in Manufacturing classed as obese
  • A significant difference in the sexes emerged when it comes to blood pressure as 19% of total males and 8% of total females suffer from high blood pressure
  • Those working in construction showed the highest rates of blood pressure with 42% of males in construction reported high blood pressure


While Irish workers continue to experience sleep issues and concerns regarding alcohol consumption, a shift in health habits is occurring

  • An overwhelming majority (87%) of Ireland’s workforce is now smoke free, proving a radical change in behaviours and health consciousness over the last decade.
  • 76% of workers abide by limiting their alcohol consumption to 14 units or less per week. However, almost one in ten (7%) admit to consuming more than the recommended levels. A similar number (10%) are also worried about their drinking habits.
  • A significant section of Ireland’s workforce (52%) is getting the recommended 7-8 hours’ sleep per night, while only 4% are getting less than 5 hours sleep.


Despite far reaching health concerns among the Irish workforce, it’s clear that people are becoming more aware and health conscious. One in four (25%) consider themselves to overall, already have a healthy lifestyle, while a further 36% have made changes to improve their lifestyle but are finding it difficult to follow through. An additional 39% of those surveyed wish to make a lifestyle change within the next six months or less.


Commenting on the results, D.O. O’Connor, Deputy MD at laya healthcare said: “It is really positive to see from the results of this research that the majority of Ireland’s workforce are looking to implement lifestyle changes and are really taking their health and wellbeing seriously. With our technology, we can now get a 360-degree view on the health and wellbeing of organisations allowing us to provide meaningful health and wellbeing programmes.”


Laya healthcare is the largest Health and Wellbeing provider and currently runs over 1,600 health programmes in hundreds of companies in a wide variety of sectors including technology, financial services, pharmaceutical and manufacturing.  It has carried out over 100,000 physical health screenings and all its programmes are underpinned by Ireland’s largest corporate team of clinical experts.


We are the largest Provider of Occupational Health & Wellness Services in Ireland. Find out more about our health and wellbeing programmes here. 



The laya healthcare screening results collated from 9,225 health screenings as part of Workplace Wellbeing Day 2019 are a mix of physical screenings carried out on 2,576 workers in Ireland, carried out by laya healthcare clinicians in HeartBeat, its cardiac screening programme. The anonymised results also include data collated from a comprehensive health and wellbeing assessments carried out among 6,649 workers that determines the overall health of a company and its employees.



Sinéad Proos

Sinéad Proos is the Head of Wellness at Laya Healthcare. With over 18 years international experience spanning FMCG, Infant Nutrition & Health Ingredients Industries, Sinéad has held Global positions at NUMICO, DANONE Early Life Nutrition (Netherlands) and Senior Management positions at Procter & Gamble (UK), SKIM decision behaviour experts (Netherlands) and most recently at Food for Health Ireland. Within these positions, she has successfully led multidisciplinary teams to deliver innovative ingredients, products & services within international health and wellness industries.