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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  1 in 3 Indians stressed, over 35% struggle with chronic illness, says report

1 in 3 Indians stressed, over 35% struggle with chronic illness, says report

The India Wellness Index underscores a substantial rise in the adoption of health technology across various demographic groups. The data emphasize an increased stress level and challenges to mental health, as every third Indian exhibits at least one symptom of stress.

India Wellness Index by ICICI Lombard General Insurance charts the country’s well-being.Premium
India Wellness Index by ICICI Lombard General Insurance charts the country’s well-being.

On November 19, 2023, ICICI Lombard General Insurance revealed the long-awaited 2023 edition of the India Wellness Index, offering a thorough representation of the country's health and overall well-being. Now in its sixth year, this report has evolved into a pivotal tool for evaluating the well-being of the nation. It underscores the impact of the digital revolution in healthcare and the nuanced influence of social media on shaping India's wellness landscape in recent years.

India’s Wellness Index gauges well-being and assesses the present state of wellness across various pillars simultaneously. With a score of 72 out of 100, the index indicates a rise in digital well-being and the utilization of health technology. However, it also signals a decline in social wellness, particularly in how individuals, especially women, are participating in their communities.

Sheena Kapoor, Head - Marketing, Corporate Communications & CSR, ICICI Lombard, said, “Our wellness index provides pivotal insights into the evolving digital wellness sphere and the health challenges of our time. The findings propel our commitment to innovating insurance solutions that address these emerging needs. This year's index reveals the digital embrace in the wellness sector, with more individuals turning to health tech and social media for well-being insights and solutions. Social Media is looked up by respondents as an important source for mental and physical wellness with 45% saying that they access motivational content on these platforms that helps overall wellness of body and mind. However, the decline in social wellness is a call to action, emphasizing the need for more community-centric initiatives."

This unique tech-enabled wellness index employs a comprehensive framework encompassing six pillars of well-being: Physical, mental, family, financial, workplace, and social. The survey involved 2,052 respondents across 19 cities, emphasizing differences among age groups, genders, geographical locations, and levels of employability. This year's findings underscore the increasing dependence on digital platforms for wellness, a trend accelerated by the virtual shift experienced during the lockdown and now solidifying as a consistent element in the pursuit of well-being.

Kapoor further highlighted, “Spending quality time with family sees a decline among working women, leading to a decreased feeling of well-being, with only 53% of women claiming they spend quality time with their families & community in 2023, compared to 64% in 2022. This resonates with interactive sessions from the study, reflecting the challenges faced by working women in maintaining a balance between work and personal life."

Key insights gleaned from the 2023 study comprise

  • In an age where health technology and social media intersect, this report sheds light on the widespread adoption of health technologies among diverse groups. The notable increase in social media utilization for wellness, especially in the realms of physical and mental health, signifies a transformative change. We are witnessing the rise of ‘fin-fluencers’, as an increasing number of Indians seek investment advice on platforms like Facebook and YouTube, shifting away from traditional business media.
  • The report emphasizes a troubling decline in social wellness, with all aspects — awareness, action, and influence — experiencing a significant decrease. This decline is particularly evident among women and residents of tier-1 towns, highlighting an urgent requirement for initiatives aimed at strengthening community engagement.
  • Concerningly, the younger demographics, notably Gen Z and millennials, document elevated levels of anxiety, reduced stamina, and obesity. This underscores the critical need for focused health interventions.
  • The Index brings attention to the prevalence of chronic conditions, with around 35% of participants contending with diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, or hypertension.
  • The Index reveals a harsh truth: One in three individuals is wrestling with stress. The prevalence of stress and symptoms of depression is on the rise, resulting in markedly lower levels of mental wellness for those affected.

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Published: 20 Dec 2023, 01:42 PM IST
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