According to new data from WorkScore, females rate themselves as 12 per cent more anxious, 8 per cent more depressed and 8 per cent less able to deal with their problems than male counterparts at work.
The survey data – being released in support of the upcoming World Mental Health Day – analysed responses from over 11,000 people to an online survey.
“Women rate themselves as more anxious, more depressed and less able to deal with their problems than men,” according to WorkScore co-founder Susan Deeming.
“Key lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise and taking breaks impact mindset for both men and women.”
Disturbingly, identical levels of anxiety were found between women who take a full lunch break with men who never take a full lunch break, and matching levels of depression were identified between women who eat four serves of vegetables per day and men who only eat one serving of vegetables each day.
While an unhealthy diet was found to be demonstrative of increased feelings of anxiety and depression, those who espoused a healthier diet were found to be 24 per cent better at dealing with their problems, 25 per cent more positive and have reduced the impairment caused by a mental health condition by 23 per cent.
There was also a strong correlation between taking proper breaks at work and a positive mindset, WorkScore found.
Regular full lunch breaks can decrease anxiety by 10 per cent, and taking short breaks during the day increases positivity by 14 per cent, the data showed.
“The most surprising and unsettling aspect of the data is finding that women who do all the right things to improve their mental health are struggling to match their male counterparts in terms of positive mindset,” Ms Deeming noted.
But, she added, there are many things that workplaces can to do better look after staff, male and female alike.
“It is clear that employers can help both men and women in the workplace improve their mindset, positivity and overall wellbeing. But, given that women are starting from a lower base, they will show much greater relative improvement,” she advised.
Initiatives that can assist in improving mindset and wellbeing in the workforce, WorkScore suggested, include: encouraging regular short breaks, removing vending machines that offer only junk food, replacing sugary treats and drinks with healthier snacks and vegetables, encouraging exercise and team fitness activities, and providing mental health support.