Highlighting the increased individual health priorities, the survey revealed that lack of personal time and finances are the top deterrents to adopting healthy habits.
The pandemic has completely transformed the way the masses perceived wellness and the relation of mental health with wellbeing, with 86% of people equally engaged in activities to improve both physical as well as mental health, according to a health and wellness pan-India survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
The study revealed that COVID has taken a toll on the mental health of those who are partly working from home, showing a noticeable decrease in the health status proportion from 54% during pre-COVID to 34% during the post-COVID era.
While mental health seemed to be a challenge for both during the pandemic, 38 per cent of women respondents were satisfied with their mental health status, as compared to only 35 per cent of men. Similarly, for physical fitness, women again maintain physical health better than men with 49 per cent of women being satisfied as compared to 42 per cent of men.
The survey also found that there has been a significant decline (15 per cent) in the mental health status when a close family member contacted Covid, from 49 per cent pre-covid to 34 per cent post-covid.
Experts say, while healthy habits are here to stay and grow, 100 per cent of the respondents who’re involved in some of the other healthy habits are likely to adopt them on a long term basis, and those who were not into these habits, as an impact of the pandemic, are likely to adopt them. The survey further revealed that the prime motivator for every 2 in 3 respondents was being aware of the benefits of healthy lifestyles, to take a step in the right direction.
Additional key insights from the survey;
Relating mental health to overall wellness – Considering the geographical variable, Mumbai remained as an exception while physical and mental health ratio has dropped for the major metro cities like; Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Pune. Ahmedabad also stood out in terms of mental health. While the overall gap concerning mental wellness in India stands at 14 (pre-covid vs. post covid), there are these 2 cities Mumbai and Ahmedabad where the gap is minimum (7 and 6 respectively).
Challenges on the road to holistic wellness – Highlighting the increased individual health priorities, the survey further revealed that lack of personal time (45 per cent) and finances (44 per cent) are the top deterrents to adopting healthy habits. Commitments at home is another challenge faced more by women as compared to men with 44 per cent of women being impacted by the same.
Additionally, financial constraints seem to be a major challenge in cities like; Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune, hence adversely affecting the health of most people in these cities. Whereas managing time is more of a problem in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.
Employees as key partners on the journey – In every 3 people’s personal life almost 1 is affected due to work stress, results showed from cities like Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The study states, highlighting the fact that a sustainable place of work is essential for productive results, various aspects already provided by the employers have now become hygiene such as health insurance, gym and flexible working place. Additionally, employees also require certain facilities as part of the new normal such as 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 – The data showed that while 70 per cent use technology such as websites, smartphone apps, fitness monitors, and activity trackers to monitor health, only 53 per cent of people are intending to use these in the future, showcasing a drop in 17 per cent.
Sanjay Datta, Chief- Underwriting, Reinsurance and Claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance says, “With the transformed perception of the masses, consumers today look at a health insurer not only for financial immunity during times of ill-health but we are now looked up as a partner in their holistic wellness journey. Additionally, through this survey, we observed a mindset change taking place with 47 per cent of people and 42 per cent of the 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.”
Concluding the findings of the report, he further adds “The survey showcased the extent to which health and wellness have come into the spotlight with healthy habits at the centre. The paradigm shift in mass perception has resulted in an increased propensity to invest more, financially, physically and mentally, into maintaining the holistic wellbeing of themselves and their loved ones.”