Job stress affects the personal lifestyle of one out of three people and the Covid 19 pandemic completely transformed the way the people perceived wellness, according to a new survey by ICICI Lombard, one of India’s major private general insurance companies.
In the survey, ICCI Lombard said that the Covid 19 pandemic transformed the way people perceived health and wellness and the relation of mental health with well being.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
The survey noted that 86 per cent of the people engaged in activities to improve both physical as well as mental health. The survey also revealed that the pandemic had taken a toll on the mental health of those who are partly working from home, which showed a noticeable decrease in the health status proportion from 54 per cent during pre-COVID to 34 per cent during the post-COVID era.
They also said that the mindset also changed with 42 per cent younger age group (25-35 years) wanting to adopt a healthy lifestyle to not just get a better appearance but also feel better about themselves.
In the study, the ICCI Lombard said that women were able to better maintain health as compared to men. While mental health seemed to be a challenge for both during the pandemic, 38 per cent of women were satisfied with their mental health status, as compared to only 35 per cent men. As far as physical fitness is concerned, women maintained physical health better than men did. The survey said that 49 per cent of women were satisfied as compared to 42 per cent of men. They said that physical and mental health ratio dropped for major metro cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Pune. However, Mumbai remained an exception, the survey said. Ahmedabad also stood out in terms of mental health. While the overall gap with respect to mental wellness in India stood at 14 (pre-covid vs. post covid) the overall gap in Mumbai and Ahmedabad was minimum (seven and 6 respectively). With respect to family, the study found a significant decline (15 per cent) in the mental health status when a close family member contacted Covid. On the contrary, the mental health status of the individual remained the same when they contacted covid themselves.
CHALLENGES ON THE ROAD TO HOLISTIC WELLNESS
The survey showed lack of personal time (45 per cent) and finances (44 per cent) are the top deterrents to adopting healthy habits. Commitment at home is another challenge faced more by women as compared to men with 44 per cent of women affected by the same. Financial constrain is a major challenge in cities like Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune and as such affected the health of most people in these cities. Managing time was big issue in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.
EMPLOYEES AS KEY PARTNERS
The survey found that personal life was affected in one among three persons due to work stress. About 89 per cent of the people expected employers to implement health and wellness programs. The study also found that only 75 per cent are satisfied with what their employers offered. The report also pointed out that some of the employers already provide health insurance, gym and flexible working place for productive results. However, the report highlighted the need for regular health check-ups work-life balance and healthy food at the cafeteria and workplace ergonomics as a need of the hour.
CHANGING FACE OF TECHNOLOGY AND WORK CULTURE
The report found that 70 per cent of the respondents used technology such as websites, smartphone apps, fitness monitors and activity monitor health. It also said that 53 per cent of people intended to use these in future, displaying a drop of 17 per cent. In terms of working environment, employees less prefer hybrid work culture and 70 per cent prefer either working regularly from home or office. The study further set a new standard for workplace environment resulting in 40 per cent preferring open office space with informal seating, 37 per cent prefer regular seating with desk assigned and 23 per cent prefer regular seating with desks unassigned.