The Nordic Health Survey 2023

Key findings

For humans and businesses to flourish, several prerequisites are required. We all need to have a feeling of security and meaning, as well as to enjoy wonderful experiences, while also coping with negative ones. And for an employer, results must be achieved and income earned. Without these critical elements, strong human capital, and the ability to plan the next period, it will be hard to get your business going.

As If strives to give people the confidence today to shape their tomorrow, we want to learn more about peoples’ behaviours, attitudes, and feelings, and to raise awareness around health and well-being. By looking at the population in the Nordics, we take the temperature on stress, perceived health and financial security. We asked Kantar Sifo to conduct this large survey in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

The aim of the study is to uncover the prevalence of negative stress¹ in the population, what triggers negative stress, how this affects those experiencing stress and their work ability, and who they turn to to resolve the situation. The report also addresses the population’s trust in the public healthcare system, peoples’ interest in paying for private health services and feelings about their financial situation and financial equality.

 ¹ Negative stress in this report is defined as stress that affects quality of life and/or work ability in a negative way.

Danes seem to be more relaxed about everyday life than in the other Nordic countries.

Highlights from the Survey

  1. 84 per cent have experienced negative stress
  2. Four in 10 have been stressed for a longer period (more than six months)
  3. The main trigger for stress is the combination of work life and private life
  4. The most common stress symptoms are poor sleep, irritation, anxiety and problems with concentration
  5. 42 per cent feel their work ability is affected by problems with mental well-being
  6. When experiencing mental ill-health, 47 per cent turn to their doctor, psychologist, or another medical professional for help. 30 per cent turn to family. 22 per cent turn to a friend. 16 per cent turn to their manager and three per cent to HR at work. 26 per cent do not seek help. [multiple answers possible]
  7. 23 per cent are concerned about getting ill and being on sick leave for a long period 
  8. 45 per cent trust the public healthcare system to provide quick help when experiencing problems with illness or non-acute injury, 42 per cent does not. 13 per cent do not know or do not want to answer
  9. Half of the Nordic population is more worried today about their finances than one year ago
  10. 71 per cent have saved a specific amount of money for unexpected expenses
  11. 18 per cent say they are not living in an equal relationship, among the 71 per cent that are in a  relationship and share household finances with another person
  12. Four in 10 would consider paying for health services that can prevent illness for them

Read the whole report

This report is based on responses from 4,032 people in the Nordics between 13 and 24 October 2022. Norway (n=1 016), Sweden (n=1 005), Denmark (n=1 005) and Finland (n=1 006). The results are weighted for gender, age, and location to represent the population’s attitudes.