Anxiety and depression cost Singapore’s GDP almost $16b a year

jesse cai, chiropractor singaporeYou may already know that chiropractors specialise in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal issues such as back pain. However, it’s crucial for you to understand the strong connection between chronic pain and your mental health. Extensive research has revealed that chronic pain and depression/anxiety are closely intertwined. If you develop chronic pain, you increase the risk of experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Moreover, living with chronic pain can intensify those feelings of depression and anxiety. It’s important to recognise the significance of taking a comprehensive approach to your healthcare. By collaborating with chiropractors, mental health professionals, and other healthcare providers, you can effectively address both the physical and emotional aspects of chronic pain and its related conditions.

Do not ignore your depression and anxiety

You heard that right. It’s $16 billion. When it comes to invisible illness such as chronic pain and mental health conditions, there’s a tendency for people to live with it rather than to get it treated. The misbelief is that by showing up for work or being there for our loved ones, instead of seeking treatment, we are playing our part or taking one for the team. Sure, it does feel that way sometimes. But for how long?

The best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to be healthy. This means adequate exercising and eating well. If you are unwell, the best thing you can do is to seek professional help and get the treatment you need.

The Financial Impact in Singapore

depression anxiety cost singapore 16 billion

According to a recent study conducted by Duke-NUS Medical School and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), individuals with symptoms of anxiety and depression in Singapore may be responsible for a financial burden of nearly $16 billion annually, equivalent to approximately 2.9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. This cost stems from factors such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased utilisation of healthcare resources.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Psychiatry, this study is the first to estimate the prevalence and quantify the financial impact of depression and anxiety symptoms among Singaporean adults since the pandemic. The researchers surveyed 5,725 Singaporeans aged 21 and above between April and June 2022, providing valuable insights into the topic.

Chiropractic Care and the Whole Person Approach to Addressing Depression and Anxiety

A chiropractor’s role in addressing depression and anxiety is not direct; however, they can play a valuable part in a whole person approach to holistic healthcare. By focusing on physical well-being, stress reduction, nervous system regulation, lifestyle guidance, and collaborative care, chiropractors can contribute to the overall well-being of individuals struggling with these mental health conditions.

Physical Well-being

Chiropractors prioritise the musculoskeletal system, aiming to optimise its function. By improving physical function and reducing musculoskeletal problems, chiropractors can alleviate physical discomfort and pain associated with conditions like depression and anxiety. This can indirectly contribute to improved mood and overall well-being.

Lifestyle Guidance

Chiropractors often provide guidance on healthy lifestyle practices, including exercise, nutrition, and stress management techniques. They can offer advice on incorporating regular physical activity, which has known positive effects on mental health. Additionally, chiropractors may provide nutritional recommendations and suggest stress-reducing techniques to support a holistic approach to well-being.

Collaborative Care

Chiropractors understand the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare. They frequently collaborate with other healthcare professionals, including mental health practitioners, to ensure comprehensive care for patients. This collaboration allows for a coordinated effort in addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of an individual’s health.

Exercise can be a game-changer for depression

exercise works for depression anxiety

Earlier this year a behemoth of a study was published to investigate the relationship between exercise and depression. The systematic review analysed 1039 trials and involved over 100,000 participants. The results? Exercise has a significant impact on depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.

Not only did the study highlight the important of exercise. The researchers also found that the intensity of exercise plays a crucial role. Higher-intensity workouts tend to yield greater improvements in mental health. So, when it comes to exercise, remember to challenge yourself and push beyond your comfort zone for optimal benefits.

exercise for depression

A different study, also published this year, echoed that exercise can indeed be medicine for depression. The study even compared the effectiveness of exercise versus psychotherapy and medication. They reported that exercise is slightly more effective then psychological interventions, and significantly more efficacious than medication.

Exercise as a Complementary Treatment for Depression and Anxiety

It’s important to note that exercise should not replace professional treatment from qualified mental health providers. Instead, exercise can be a valuable addition to the treatment plan, working hand in hand with other recommended interventions to optimise outcomes for individuals with depression and/or anxiety.

While chiropractors do not directly treat depression and anxiety, their contributions to a whole person approach are valuable. Through their focus on physical well-being, stress reduction, nervous system regulation, lifestyle guidance, and collaboration with other healthcare professionals, chiropractors can provide support in addressing these mental health conditions. It is essential to seek appropriate professional help for depression and anxiety, and chiropractic care can be a complementary part of a comprehensive treatment plan.



Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.