How Healthy Is India Inc? Take A Peek Into The Corridors Of Corporate Power With Health And Fitness App, HealthifyMe
Corporate warriors have plenty on their platter to worry about. But a 12-month survey by India’s leading health and fitness app, HealthifyMe, an unsettling world—beyond toplines and bottom lines. The report on the diet, activity and fitness levels of corporate India curated from user logs and wellness programmes, throws up long work- hours, strict deadlines, sleep debt, precipitous drop in physical activity, unholy reliance on fat-laden foods of convenience, vicious stress loop at home and work—spiralling into an abyss of chronic lifestyle disorders.
Here comes the shocker:
63 per cent Indian executives are overweight
Those from the financial sector are the least active
Most gorge on fried and fatty evening snacks
Weekends are the least active days for workouts
“It is a matter of serious concern that so many executives across sectors are inactive and overweight,” says Tushar Vashisht, Co-founder & CEO of HealthifyMe. Close to 60,000 working professionals between age 21 and 60 were reviewed—from sales and marketing executives, IT professionals, bankers to factory workers—in about 20 companies across urban India: Delhi to Mumbai, Bangalore to Chennai, Hyderabad to Kolkata and even remote locations like Jhagadiya, Khandala and Vapi.“With people spending half their life in offices, it is time for corporate India to step up and take responsibility for the health and fitness of their teams,” adds Vashisht. “Not only would this result in a fitter workplace, but also a more happy, focused and productive one.”
A step at a time
When it comes to the number of steps taken in a day, an important indicator of activity levels, consumer goods sector has taken the pole position with a count of 5,988. The least active are executives from the financial sector who have an average count of just 4,969 steps. Executives from other sectors like retail, manufacturing, marketing and IT take upwards of 5,000 steps per day.
According to the data, running is the most popular activity for both males and females. Other activities that are popular amongst male executives are bicycling, gym workouts and swimming. Women prefer more of indoor activities that can be done at home, for instance, yoga and other home workouts.
Weekends are the least active time. The calorie burn rate drops down to an average of 250 on weekends compared to 300 on weekdays.
Diet highs and lows
Evening snacks are the biggest diet-killers for most professionals. This meal is particularly unhealthy because it contains highest percentage of fat and carbohydrates across all the meals. Another interesting trend is that dinner is the healthiest meal of the day as it contains highest amount of protein. It is also low on fats and carbs, making it the most balanced meal of the day.
When it comes to city-wise nutrient intake, executives in Kolkata consume the most proteins (17.5%), followed by Delhi (15.9%), Mumbai (15.6%) and Bangalore (15.5%). On the other hand, executives in non-metros consume the highest amount of fats (29%), followed by Chennai (28.4%). Kolkata and Hyderabad consume the least.
An analysis of fat consumption across sectors reveals that employees from the retail space consume the highest percentage of fats as a part of their diet (29%). On the other hand, those from the FMCG sector consume the highest amount of proteins (16%).
Men versus women
Interestingly, last year, HealthifyMe, had put together insights from its user logs of over 1 million users, to understand how physically active Indians were in 2018. About 53 per cent Indian women and 44 per cent Indian men were found to be “physically inactive,” burning less than 50 per cent of their calorie-burn budget (CBB) in a day. Calorie Burn Budget is the number of calories that a person should burn through physical activity every day. Only 34 per cent men were found to be “active,” burning more than 80 per cent of their CBB, while 22 per cent were “mildly active,” burning 50–80 per cent of their CBB. When it came to women, only 24 per cent were found to be “active,” and 22 per cent “mildly active.”
The average calorie burn budget of Indian men was 476 calories per day, compared to 374 calories for women per day. While on an average men burnt 55 per cent (262), women did just 44 per cent (165). The numbers were, however, far better when compared to the Healthifyme survey in 2017. The data over the years show that on average, Indian women burn markedly lower number of calories than their male counterparts—with males burning around 33 per cent higher than females on a daily basis in both 2017 and 2018.
The fittest cities
Bangalore, Gurugram and Noida have consistently emerged as the most fitness-conscious cities, while, Kolkata Jaipur, Lucknow and Ahmedabad the least. Tier 1 cities are generally more active than Tier 2 cities, burning 407 calories in a day vs. 371 in the latter (in 2018). Pune, however, is stepping up—from being one of the least fit cities to one of the fittest. Lucknow, on the other hand, is witnessing a decline in its position.
Bangalore had taken the pole position burning upwards of 420 calories/day in 2018 compared to 322 calories/day in 2017, an improvement of 30 per cent. It was followed by Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad that continued to steal a march over other regions, again making it to the list of fittest cities. Their neighbour Delhi, however, was amongst the least fit cities, with an average calorie burn of 380 per day.