Winter blues: Having real impact in Australia

Monday, July 20, 2015

Winter blues, also called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), winter depression or seasonal depression, is a condition in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in winter. (Wikipedia)

This July 2015 research took the symptoms and triggers of the winter blues and tested them among a sample of more than 1,000 Australians and found that indeed the impacts of winter are affecting Australians.

Winter makes us over-sleep, over-eat and become less social

More than half (54%) of Australians say that they experience increased difficulty waking up in the morning in winter compared to the warmer months. Similarly, 55% also have more of a tendency to oversleep in winter.

47% of Australians suffer an increased tendency to overeat in winter, with more than 2 in 5 experiencing a craving for carbohydrates (43%) and sweet foods (43%) during the colder months of the year.

42% of us experience a reduced social life during winter and participate in less interactions, which may be linked to the reduced energy (45%) and reduced enjoyment (35%) that we feel during these colder months.

More than 1 in 3 (35%) say they feel more down and depressed in winter than in the warmer months, whereas only 6% experience less of a feeling of being down and depressed during winter.

More than 1 in 4 experience increased irritability (28%) and a feeling of pessimism (26%) during the winter months as well.

Winter impacts the workforce

Winter has an impact on employee performance and the business bottom line with 1 in 3 (33%) Australian employees admitting to suffering reduced motivation at work during winter. Winter also affects employee productivity for 27% of Australians who are less efficient in their role during these colder months.

Sickness also impacts the workforce much more in winter, with around 1 in 3 (31%) Australian employees taking increased time off because of it, with 8% indicating this occurs much more during winter.

Winter affects 28% of Australian employees in the way of less social connection and effectiveness with their work colleagues, while 23% of are also much more likely to arrive late to work in winter than in the warmer months.

Spring Australia’s favourite season

The results are in and the favourite season of Australians is spring with close to 2 in 5 (38%) saying it is their favourite.

Not only was spring the most favourite among Australians, it was also the second favourite beating out autumn.

Winter is the least favourite season for close to 3 in 5 (59%) Australians, making it the least loved season for Aussies.

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