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09 March 2009
New Delhi, India

While two–third of working women suffer from lifestyle diseases, 53 per cent of them skip meals and go for junk food due to work pressure and deadlines
While more than two–third of working women in India suffer from lifestyle diseases, 53 per cent of them skip meals and go for junk food due to work pressure and deadlines.

According to a survey conducted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), 68 per cent of working women in the age bracket of 21–52 years were found to be afflicted with lifestyle ailments such as obesity, depression, chronic backache, diabetes and hypertension.

The report further said that as 27 per cent of females in urban India were employed, their health issues are a major concern both for society and business.

The study ‘Preventive Healthcare and Corporate Female Workforce’ also said that long hours and working under strict deadlines cause up to 75 per cent of working women to suffer from depression or general anxiety disorder, compared to women with lesser levels of psychological demands at work.

Women employed in sectors that demand more time such as media, knowledge process outsourcing and touring jobs are unable to take leave when unwell, and force themselves to work mainly due to job insecurity, especially during the current financial meltdown, the report said.

However, it said, factors such exposure to industrial pollutants and environmental toxins, poor quality of sleep, lack of exercise, sunlight exposure, poor nutrition, excessive intake of alcohol and drug abuse also cause depression.

Highlighting the fact that women play vital and multiple roles, especially those who are employed, the report stressed on the need for a balance to be maintained by them both at home and workplace.

“Ignorance of healthcare can have multiple implications on her surrounding environment such as her family, workplace and social network,” the study.

“Over 77 per cent of respondents said they avoided routine check–ups,” the report stated indicating that the hectic schedule of balancing workplace and home, along with balancing between social and personal requirements lead to women ignoring their health.

The report further stated that 47 per cent of respondents spent less than Rs 500 on healthcare in a year, while 22 per cent spent in the range of Rs 500–Rs 5,000 as they suffer ailments such as obesity, depression and spondylosis.

Over 29 per cent of respondents were found to be spending between Rs 5,000– Rs 50,000 on healthcare annually. However, most of these respondents were found afflicted with high or low blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, urinary infection and arthritis.

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