Chronic lifestyle disorders grips India's IT workforce due to hectic work schedule
Nearly 55 per cent of the youths working in India's IT and ITES sector are stricken with lifestyle disorders due to unhealthy eating habits, hectic work schedules, tight deadlines and stress.
The survey was carried out at Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Pune between August and October last year to ascertain the extent of junk food addiction among BPO personnels. About 2,000 males and 1000 females were interviewed by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF), the industry body which conducted the survey.
Over half of respondents said that due to 24x7 and hectic working environment they directly place orders with fast food outlets, street food vendors or roadside eateries operating outside their offices. These eatings points serve ready to eat high calorie processed food items such as noodles, burgers, pizza, bhelpuri, chaat, and potato chips, etc.
The survey reveals that frequent snack breaks during office hours together with rampant consumption of greasy, spicy food is leading to health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, depression, anxiety and cardiovascular diseases. Besides, nutritional value of food remains last on the mind of employees when hunger strikes and they are left craving for junk stuff that satiates their hunger.
Nearly 1,600 respondents said that they have relocated to IT hubs for professional reasons and live independently along with their colleagues/peers at rented accommodations due to which they tend to eat more of junk food items sold at office cafeteria or across local markets near their offices.
About 35 per cent of the total respondents who eat junk food said that they visit doctors at least twice a month with complaints of stomach ache, bloating, gas afflicts, acidity and burning sensation, improper stool passage, constipation and diarrhea.
“There is a grave need for companies to be vigilant about the issues concerning employees’ health as they are the ones responsible for an organization's sound financial health,” said DS Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham.
Many of these said that unscheduled meal hours and non-stop telephonic sessions were causing gastric problems together with fatigue and headaches.
Nearly 15 per cent of respondents said that work related stress has also lead them to compulsive habits like alcohol abuse, substance abuse, smoking and chewing tobacco thereby causing an unfavorable effect on digestion process.
Many of the respondents said that cardiovascular problems are appearing in them early as their work involves heavy calling which keeps them sticked to their work stations for seven to eight hours with a single break of a few minutes.
Almost 45 per cent of respondents across these cities said that they do not exercise at all. Whereas 30 per cent said that they exercise at least 4 days a week, While remaining 25 per cent said they follow a strict diet and exercise regime.