More than two in every four employees in India’s private sector are affected by depression or a general anxiety disorder, with those based in Delhi NCR being hardest hit.
The findings were announced by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), spanning views of 1,250 employees across 15o companies.
The rate of such emotional problems has gone up by 45-50% in the past eight years.
With Delhi NCR ranked first in the number of employees suffering from the lifestyle, Bangalore and Mumbai came second and third respectively.
They were followed by Ahmedabad (4th), Chandigarh (5th), Hyderabad (6th) and Pune (7th).
The second most common ailment among staffers was obesity (23% prevalence), while high blood pressure and diabetes were third and fourth most prevalent.
Other common illnesses among white-collar workers were spondylosis (5.5%), heart disease (4%), cervical (3%), asthma (2.5%), arthritis (1.5%), and slip disk (1%).
Much of the issue was blamed on the demands of the business environment.
“Corporate employees have to survive the stiff global competitive environment to save their jobs, adding pressure on their health, leading to silent diseases,” said DS Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.
Close to two in every five employees (38.5%) report sleeping less than six hours every night, owing to high stress levels linked to tough targets. Additionally, 48% said that they feel fatigue on regular basis, while more than a quarter suffer from headaches regularly.
The problem was compounded given that more than half of the respondents (57%) said they do not exercise at all. However, 23% do spend working out less than one hour a week, while another 12% exercise for 1-3 hours per week.
The situation was reversed in the public sector however, where a majority said they exercise for more than eight hours a week.
“Work pressure is a killer these days. Lack of self confidence, unrealistic expectations and a nutrient deficient diet are factors that trigger the condition. Biological, psychological and environmental factors play a role too,” said Dr B K Rao, chairman of ASSOCHAM’s Health Committee Council.