What is the Bupa Wellbeing Index?

Over recent decades, healthcare has evolved. From ageing populations to digital advancements, our expectations of healthcare have evolved too. Most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic created lasting shifts in lifestyles and health.

In a post-pandemic world, we'd like to know how people feel about their health. Both physical and mental. That's why we launched the Bupa Wellbeing Index. With over 8,000 participants across the UK, we can learn about the nation's health and wellbeing. By understanding what people want from healthcare, we can fulfil our purpose:

Helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world.

A word from Carlos Jaguerizar, CEO, Bupa Global and UK

January 2024

As we enter our third year of our Bupa Wellbeing Index, a landmark survey unveiling the state of the UK’s health and wellbeing, we wanted to shine a light on an important topic for businesses, communities and society: women's health.

While raising awareness is critical to breaking down taboos, we know that there is more to be done to drive societal change. This report looks into the social stigma, bias and need for education that still surrounds women's health from women experiencing it themselves and those around them.

To achieve this, we re calling out the Public Displays of Womanhood (PDWs), which describe symptoms or natural bodily functions that women experience in public or in the workplace that are seen by others and often cause embarrassment. The findings reveal that most women in the UK have had a PDW, like hot flushes, excessive sweating, and period related challenges. Often these are entirely natural but, in some cases, can be more serious, leading to physical discomfort and social isolation. What s really sad is that many women have experienced judgment and intrusive comments as a result of a PDW. This can sometimes cause feelings of shame and in some cases, trigger poor mental health, such as anxiety and a fear of leaving their home.

So we are making a call to action. Through targeted initiatives within Bupa, in workplaces and wider society, we pledge to help create an environment where conversations around women s health are not only encouraged but normalised, without feelings of shame or embarrassment. We advocate for easy, practical measures in the workplace to support women s health. For example, free access to sanitary products, fostering an environment where managers talk openly with their teams and providing training that equips people to approach sensitive health topics with more knowledge, supporting women to navigate their health journeys.

Societal progress in women's health is long overdue. It s about levelling the playing field so everyone thrives, without women having to take time out or leave the workplace completely to manage symptoms where the loss of valuable talent can be detrimental for businesses. By envisioning a society where conversations around women s health are normalised and embraced, we can elevate awareness, empower through education, foster open dialogue, and create supportive environments in workplaces and beyond.

Explore the Wellbeing Index

Advice and tools for your health and wellbeing

At Bupa we produce free health information for you and those around you. Find information about conditions, treatments and procedures. You’ll also find advice from our experts about staying healthy and living well.

Bupa commissioned Censuswide to poll a nationally representative sample of 8,185 UK adults. The data was collected between 18.03.2022 - 24.03.2022. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Bupa Health Assessments and Occupational Health services are provided by Bupa Occupational Health Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.631336. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

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