A major part of the population in India today belongs to the working class, with over 45 percent people belonging to the age group of 22 – 35. According to experts and various surveys conducted, a trend of younger population getting hit by lifestyle diseases has been witnessed. With the epidemic of ‘lifestyle diseases’ hitting India hard, the scenario is changing rapidly and with it, the meaning and cause of ‘ a healthy body and mind’.
People are predisposed to various diseases based on their way of living and occupational habits. They are preventable, and can be lowered with changes in diet, lifestyle, and environment. Lifestyle diseases characterize those diseases whose occurrence is primarily based on daily habits of people and are a result of an inappropriate relationship of people with their environment. The main factors contributing to the lifestyle diseases include bad food habits, physical inactivity, wrong body posture, and disturbed biological clock.
According to a report by the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum India has and will incur losses of billions of dollars in the years to come, on account of unhealthy lifestyles and faulty diet. The resultant chronic diseases – heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and respiratory infections – which are ailments of long duration and slow progression, severely affect people’s earnings. The income loss to Indians because of these diseases, which is higher than that of Pakistan, is projected to rise further in the time to come, with China taking lead. The study comes across as a warning to the working young individuals across the globe and stresses about the role of an unhealthy lifestyle becoming a major factor in the occurrence of diseases.
A majority of the working population in the age bracket of 22- 35 years are found to be afflicted with lifestyle ailments such as obesity, depression, chronic backache, diabetes and hypertension. Long working hours, working under strict deadlines and job insecurity cause the working population to suffer from depression or general anxiety disorder, compared to those working with lesser levels of psychological demand at work. Ignorance of healthcare can has multiple implications on the surrounding environment such as the family, workplace and social network, thus there is imbalance creating an imbalance in work and home. The hectic schedules of balancing workplace and home, along with balancing between personal and social life has led the working young to ignoring their health. Most of these people are found to be afflicted with high or low blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, urinary infection and arthritis.
In today’s fast age of longer working hours and growing industrialization, good and healthy food and physical exercise are essential because the kind of lifestyle that the working class leads today doesn’t allow them to think of the damage they are inflicting upon themselves. The very importance of eating nutritious food has declined and the rule has become to eat ‘faster fast food’ and ‘more ready to eat’.
The intervention of technology in the physical spaces has further made the human body lethargic in its approach and use. Though the studies certainly suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must so as to improve longevity of life and have a carefree health. A healthy diet and adequate physical activity, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity for at least five days a week, can help prevent lifestyle diseases. Although, factors such exposure to industrial pollutants and environmental toxins, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, sunlight exposure, poor nutrition, excessive intake of alcohol, smoking also play a confounding role in the increase of prevalence of lifestyle disease amongst the working young.
Sachin Chaudhary, CEO & Founder, Medical Second Opinion