Financial instability and work-related environment are two key reasons leading to high levels of stress among people in the country, says a GOQii study that found about a quarter of the population covered by them, struggle with stress.

High blood pressure topped the chart of lifestyle diseases, the study said, with about a quarter of those evaluated through this lens, reflecting the trend. The study was to assess how people were coping, as Covid-19 tapers off.  

While the findings seem in line with the general perception, as companies announce a reduction in their workforce, Vishal Gondal, Founder and Chief Executive of GOQii, pointed out, layoffs were only a part of the overall work-related stress mapped by them.  Anxiety and stress are usually expected in the tech or start-up sector, but this time it reflected overall stress in the economy, and not specific to a sector, Gondal told businessline.

“The current work environment has become stressful with long working hours, lack of job security, low wages, and growing competition,” the tech-enabled platform said on its study..

The insights were culled from data gleaned from users of GOQii products and information gaps were filled with a survey for specifics to add to the qualitative data, explains Gondal. About 10,000 users were covered in the mental health study, for the stress-related data, and 60 lakh users were surveyed on lifestyle. 

Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure (BP) and thyroid have featured as the most common lifestyle problems among people in 2022, GOQii’s India Fit report (2022-23) said, analysing data on how Indians maintained their heart health, BMI, nutrition, water, stress, sleep etc. According to the World Health Organization, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid, and high blood pressure were responsible for about 80 percent of all deaths worldwide.  

Extrapolating data, the report also says, about half the Indian population suffers from unhealthy lifestyle habits. According to their health risk assessment (HRA) score, around 48 per cent of Indians are in the ‘borderline or unhealthy’ category in 2022. “While India’s average BMI falls well within the normal range at 21.9..... data indicates that among adults 17 per cent are obese and there is a 2 per cent increase in obesity among young adults. 1 per cent are in the High-Risk segment which means that the majority of people can become healthy by making a few adjustments to their lifestyle,” the report said. 

Cardiac health  

The study surveyed about 4,000 users to understand the heart health of Indians. It found that the probability of developing heart disease was associated with unhealthy dietary patterns, lack of exercise, obesity, stress, alcohol consumption, smoking habit etc. Sleep was another key feature. People who suffered from sleep apnea, a disorder in which a person frequently stops breathing during sleep, have an increased risk of developing heart disease, the report said.  

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Stress can directly influence the heart through the nervous system. The GOQii cardiac survey found that 34 percent of those who took the survey, said they got stressed easily. Heart disease has a genetic component, which increases if parents or siblings have suffered from it, it pointed out.