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Obesity, Heart Ailments, and Cancer: Final Fate of India’s Millennial Workforce?

As India Inc. enters the next stage of growth, the young Indian millennials fuelling it are risking their life with health issues in a highly competitive environment filled with stress and long working hours.


Obesity, Heart Ailments, and Cancer: Fate of India’s Millennial Workforce? | Newsline | DKODING | Image Credits: Her.ie

India’s blue-collar corporate workforce is rapidly growing in the age of information technology. And with long work hours sitting in front of laptops, the millions of young Indian millennial professionals are heading towards a life full of ailments and health issues and concerns.

A recent study from HealthifyMe which surveyed at least 60,000 working professionals across the country, nearly two-thirds have been found to be struggling from obesity and related health problems. What’s causing this? Stressful job environment, deskbound sedentary lifestyles, coupled with untimely and unhealthy eating habits caused by the competitive work environment in India.

“At least 63 percent of executives are overweight with a BMI greater than 23 which fuels the risk of lifestyle-related health disorders and poor health.”

Corporate India is increasingly overweight, with two-thirds of executives having a body-mass index (BMI) over 25. This is the upper limit for healthy body weight. Rising obesity in an environment with 45 to 55 work weeks is triggering widespread health hazards. Moreover, India is already a global diabetes capital.



Indian Millennial Health Issues – HealthifyMe Study

The survey from HealthifyMe titled “Corporate India Fitness Report” captured and analyzed patterns for different corporate sectors. The survey analyzed different sectors like FMCG, Financial Services and manufacturing. As per the survey, professionals in financial services and manufacturing scored the worst in terms of active lifestyles.


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Professionals in financial services and manufacturing scored the worst in terms of active lifestyles. | Newsline | DKODING Studio

Professionals with the most active working environment were from FMCG sector where employees have to walk at least 1,000 more steps daily in comparison to financial services. The data used by HealthifyMe was collected from a survey of 60,000 people professionals from over 20 Indian cities over a period of 12 months. The data comes from food and activity logs tracked by professionals aged between 21 and 60.

Eating habits leading to Lifestyle Diseases

As per the survey, the healthiest nutrition intake is taken by professionals in the FMCG industry with the maximum protein intake. On the contrary, the least healthy or the most fat-rich diet belongs to the retail sector.

Geographically, similar patterns are recognized in the same sectors across different cities. However, cumulatively, across Indian cities, Kolkata’s professionals consume the fittest and most protein-rich diet. On the other hand, professionals in non-metro cities heavily consume a fat-rich diet.


Indian chai-samosa work culture and how it is triggering health concerns for millennials. | Newsline | DKODING | Image Credits: Jollymore

In terms of meals, the unhealthiest food is the evening corporate snack. India consumes snacks made up of fat-rich, fried foods like samosas, pakoras, and other such foods. This meal has the highest amount of fat and the least amount of protein. This goes to show the risks that come with the Indian chai-samosa work culture and how it is triggering health concerns for millennials.



Lazy Weekends and Lack of Exercise

The study from HealthifyMe observed that India has one of the most lethargic workforces. Majority of professionals were found to be mostly lazy and inactive during weekends. This is proved by the metric that calorie burn rate for India’s professionals dips from 300 on weekdays to 250 on weekends on an average.

Indian millennial professionals prefer lesser strenuous workouts and for shorter durations which further fuel health issues.

Also, as per the study, running is the most preferred exercise for India’s professionals across gender. When looking more closely, male professionals prefer bicycling, gym workouts and swimming compared to female professions who enjoy indoor activities like yoga and cross-fit training.


India-Sedentary-Lifestyle-Newsline-DKODING
Majority of professionals were found to be mostly lazy and inactive during weekends. | Newsline | DKODING Studio

The high inactivity during the weekends can be opined down to corporate stress. Prevailing long, stressful working hours result in frequent burnouts. Moreover, many companies in India run 6-day work weeks instead of 5. This further adds to the stress of the young Indian millennial workforce.

Nutrition intake with every meal

Quick snack culture that’s forced by limited recess time is triggering health concerns for Indian millennial professionals. Most prefer a quick junk bite to kill hunger in a fast-paced work environment. This kind of diet contains the highest amount of fat and carbohydrates. Consequently, India’s professionals suffer from extremely unhealthy dietary habits that stem lifestyle-related diseases.


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India’s professionals suffer from extremely health risks due to fat-rich diets. | Newsline | DKODING Studio

Furthermore, the survey broke down the nutrition intake of the surveyed professionals. 29.8 percent of fat comes from breakfast, 25.62 percent from lunch and 25.90 percent from dinner. However, it is the interim hunger pangs that are harming India’s professionals worst. Also, evening and interim snacks have the highest fat content at 33.71 percent. Thus, this is the main contributor to the obesity problem.

Indian millennial professionals prefer the quick snack culture forced by limited recess time. This results in a fat-rich unhealthy eating habits.

When talking about actual nutrition in terms of protein intake, 14.3 percent comes from breakfast, 16.7 percent from lunch, 13.05 percent from evening snacks. Indian professionals are able to avail the healthiest nutritional intake during dinner where protein average climbed to 17.31 percent.



Survey Methodology

HealthifyMe conducted the survey through a series of corporate wellness programs over a period of 12 months. The Indian millennial professionals surveyed for health issues included factory workers, sales professionals, IT professionals, and bankers among others. The cities include Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and remote locations such as Jhagadiya, Khandala, and Vapi.


Video Credits: HealthifyMe

As per Tushar Vashisht, Co-founder & CEO, HealthifyMe, “It is a matter of serious concern that so many executives across sectors are inactive and overweight. With people spending half of their lives in offices, it is time for corporate India to step up and take responsibility for the health and fitness of their teams. Not only would this result in a fitter workplace – but also a more happy, focussed and productive one.”



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