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World Health Day: 42% Indian private sector employees face depression

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Nearly 42.5% private sector employees in India suffer from depression or general anxiety disorder due to demanding depressionschedules, high stress levels and performance-linked perquisites, a study said today on the eve of World Health Day.

Delhi ranks first in terms of number of corporate employees suffering from depression or general anxiety disorder, followed by Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Pune.

The study surveyed employees from 17 broad sectors, with maximum share coming from IT/ITes and BPO sector at 17%.

The rate of emotional problems such as anxiety and depression has increased by 45-50 per cent in the last eight years, the study by the industry body Assocham revealed.

“Corporate employees have to survive the stiff global competitive environment to save their jobs, adding pressure on their health, leading to silent diseases,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

Moreover, 23% corporate employees suffer from obesity which can modify occupational morbidity, mortality and injury risks that can further affect workplace absence, disability, productivity and healthcare costs.

High blood pressure and diabetes are the third and fourth-largest diseases with a share of 9% and 8%, respectively. Other disease ailing corporate employees are spondylosis at 5.5%, heart disease 4%, cervical 3%, asthma 2.5%, slip disk 1% and arthritis 1.5%%.

The report is based on the views of 1,250 corporate employees from 150 companies across 18 broad sectors like IT/ITeS, financial services, engineering, telecom, FMCG, real estate, infrastructure, media, telecom, education, manufacturing and advertising, among others.

The report included major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh and Dehradun etc.

Identifying the causes of the ailments, the study found that nearly 38.5 per cent corporate employees sleep less than 6 hours a day due to high stress levels that arise out of tough targets set by employers. In terms of the physical fitness, it was found that around 57 per cent of the employees in the private companies said they ‘do not exercise at all’, 23 per cent do physical workout devoting less than 1 hour/week, 12 per cent of the employees exercise for 1-3 hours/week, 8 per cent employees exercise for 3-6 hours/week and merely 7 per cent stay fit by exercising for more than 6 hours/week.

Around 55% of the survey respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 pc), 40-49 years (16 pc), 50-59 years (2 pc) and 60-69 years (1 pc).

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