The Wellness Report
in 2021


Nearly two years since the beginning of the pandemic, The Wellness Report helps us understand the current state of employee and organizational health.

It highlights key health indicators for Canadian employees - and how these impacts their productivity and their organizations’ overall wellness.

The Wellness Report is a great tool to help plan sponsors get the data they need to measure the baseline of workplace wellness - and act on what’s important for their organization.

In 2021, 56 Manulife group sponsors participated in The Wellness Report and 6,141 employees responded to the online surveys.

2021 Wellness Report highlights

Physical health and lifestyle habits:

The report shows that 42% of respondents have 3 or more health risk factors and more than 50% think they are in good or very good health.



29% of employees get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night.

The #1 factor affecting employees' sleep is work-related stress.

Top 3 organizations*: 29%.



39% are at risk due to low physical activity levels and are doing less than recommended 150 min/week.

Top 3 organizations*: 26%.



69% are not eating 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day.

Top 3 organizations*: 61%.



74% report one or more musculoskeletal conditions and 24% have seen this impact their ability to work or their productivity.

Top 3 organizations*: 84 %.



35% of employees reported having one of more chronic conditions.

Top 3 organizations*: 32.9%.



12% of respondents reported they are using marijuana (3% for medicinal purposes).

Top 3 organizations*: 8%.



33% of employees say they are binge drinking (3 or more units of alcohol in one occasion for women and 4 or more units for men) at least once a month.

Top 3 organizations*: 29%.

* The top 3 organizations are selected based on how they scored against a wide range of indicators. Their combined results give a good indication of where the healthiest organizations stand.

These key indicators suggest that employees are struggling to take care of their health and that they are facing challenges in adopting a healthier lifestyle.

The report reveals that 63% of employees indicated that one of the top barriers to adopting a healthier lifestyle is mental fatigue. 38% noted a lack of time and 34% noted a lack of motivation to be one of their top 3 barriers.

Having mental fatigue as the most frequently noted barrier is a particularly unusual and interesting result - most likely due to the pandemic. In contrast, last year the results showed the #1 barrier was the lack of motivation (66%) and mental fatigue wasn’t one of the top three barriers. 

Mental health


51% of employees are experiencing feelings of loneliness.

Last year’s average was 48% 


48% of employees are experiencing at least one work-related mental health risk factor.

  • The top three factors are Balance, Involvement & Influence, and Workload management
  • According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, there are 13 factors that can impact the mental health of employees in the workplace. (source: 13 Factors: Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace).

Financial health


57% of employees worry about their financial situation.

Top 3 organizations: 56% .


26% said worrying about money distracts them at work.

Employees’ health and well-being are important factors in productivity loss:

16% of working hours, which equates to 41.2 days per employee per year, are lost due to health-related absences and presenteeism.

Top 3 organizations: 15% (40.1 days).

Workplace culture

The Wellness Report not only looks at key health indicators, it also looks at workplace culture and how it impacts employees’ lifestyle choices.

When we see that the #1 mental health risk factor being work/life balance, and the #1 factor affecting employees' sleep being work-related stress, we can conclude that work has a significant impact on employee health. Given that mental fatigue is a key barrier to adopting healthy choices, we can see how workplace culture can definitively play an important role in health journeys of employees.

We can see the impact of a healthy workplace. More employees of Top 3 organizations indicated their manager cares about their health & wellbeing (86% vs 78%). Also, employees of the Top 3 organizations noted at a higher rate that their manager demonstrated healthy lifestyle choices than the workplaces average (73% vs. 66%)

In all of the other indicators, Top 3 organizations also score better, which suggest that creating a workplace culture that promotes and support healthy lifestyles can help improve employee’s overall health and positively impact productivity. 

Building healthier workplaces is a journey and we’re there to support you along the way! 

A good way to start is by getting this data for your organization – so you can see how you can help improve your employees’ health and the overall health of your organization.

Coming soon

56 Manulife groups sponsors participated to The Wellness Report in 2021 and 6,141 employees responded to the online surveys. The Wellness Report surveys were conducted in February, May and October 2021.