Saffolalife Study 2017 reveals why India is struggling with heart problems

On the occasion of World Heart Day, Saffolalife™ launched the Saffolalife Study 2017 which highlights the barriers that Indians face when it comes to leading a healthy life for a healthy heart. There has been a rising awareness about heart health in India but the startling statistics of the risk of Cardio Vascular Diseases still continue to be on a rise. This World Heart Day, the Saffolalife Study 2017 digs beneath the surface to find the reasons why people are not able to put in the efforts to improve their heart health, despite being aware of the risk parameters. Often they face daily challenges, which prevent them from achieving desired body goals or maintaining a healthy routine. Saffolalife Study 2017 aims to understand the “Barriers to heart health” to enable higher compliance & encourage people at CVD risk to lead heart healthy lifestyle. This study was conducted among 1306 respondents across Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata.

In Mumbai, the study findings indicated that long working hours, Job Stress, lack of sleep & long travelling hours are the key Barriers which come in the way of making Mumbai heart healthy, in addition to the temptation of tasty food. In order to understand in detail the issues people face in putting efforts towards a better heart health, Saffolalife™ launched a pan India survey commissioned by AC Nielsen amongst those who have been identified to be at risk of CVD diseases. The study revealed startling city-specific facts, age specific and gender specific barriers that come in the way of people being able to put efforts towards a healthy lifestyle for a healthy heart.
The Saffolalife Study reveals that while both men & women find temptation for tasty food and eating out as a barrier to staying healthy, there are some differential barriers which get highlighted between the two genders. While women site time spent in household work as a big barrier, men say that job stress and lack of sleep hours is a big reason why they are not able to put in efforts to stay healthy. When it comes to different age groups, Household responsibilities and stress at home are seen to be skewed as barriers towards the age group of 35-44 as compared to the age group of 25-44. Time spent on tablet/ phone is seen to be adding to sedentary lifestyle and is a barrier and Lack of Facilities & Infrastructure (space to exercise / workout / do yoga /walk/ run nearby their office or home) is also cited as a barrier that comes in the way to putting efforts to stay heart healthy.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Dr. Shashank Joshi, Padmashree Awardee, President of Hypertension Society of India, Senior Endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital and Research Institute, said, “While there is a rising awareness about heart health, compliance & action is a big area of concern in India. Saffolalife Study 2017 reveals the barriers to heart health in India and putting efforts to remove these barriers can enable higher compliance & encourage people at CVD risk to lead heart healthy lifestyle. It is important to adopting ways to stay heart healthy despite changing food habits, long working hours and increase in work stress, which have become part and parcel of our modern day lifestyles. Our modern day lifestyle has made us sedentary, whether it is in office, travelling hours or even at home. This World Heart Day, we encourage people to lead an active lifestyle so that we can reduce the risk of CVD in India.”
India is seeing a rise in health conscious individuals; International health trends are leaving impressions on Indians at a rapid pace, along with the ideologies of the Indian health experts’ brigade. Despite the continuous propagation of leading healthier lives, India continues to see alarming heart health statistics. The risk and frequency of cardiovascular diseases are still on a rise, especially amongst the youth of the country. It’s time we translate this awareness into action, and overcome the barriers that come in the way to stay heart healthy. Identifying these barriers is the first step towards overcoming them.
Key barriers keeping Indians from a healthy heart
1. 80 % Indians feel that they have long working hours and that comes in their way of putting efforts towards having a healthy heart.
2. 68% Indians say that they have long hours of travelling, which is a reason they don’t get time to put in the required efforts to stay healthy.
3. 76% Indians feel that Job or Business ( work) stress prevents them from making healthy efforts.
4. 69 % Indians feel that they don’t know where their time goes because they are always on a tablet/ phone. This trend was seen to be similar across age groups contrary to popular belief that use of technology is more in the younger age group.
5. 74% Indians say that they don’t get enough sleep which is a barrier to their heart health.
6. 81 % women feel that Household work takes up a lot of their time which is a reason they don’t get time to put in the required efforts to stay healthy.
7. 72 % Indians feel that Stress at home acts a barriers towards heart healthy efforts.
8. 83% Indians say that Temptation of Tasty Food is a barrier to heart health.
Temptation for tasty food is higher for Age group 35-44 than Age group 25-34 (86% vs 81%).
74% Indians say that Healthy Food is not tasty, so they can’t eat regularly.
10. 66% Indians say they don’t have space to exercise / workout / do yoga /walk/ run nearby their office or home.
11. 74 % women need to cook separately for herself, if she wants to have healthy food and that itself becomes the barrier.
Healthy Food not tasty, Home Stress & Job Stress
is a bigger barrier to Indians with cholesterol (greater than 200 mg/dl )as compared to Indian not suffering from high cholesterol (less than 200 mg/dl).
Saffolalife encourages people to overcome these barriers by changing the perspective with which they look at them and finding ways of integrating efforts to stay heart healthy in their everyday lives. While lack of time in the modern day lifestyle is sited as a barrier in putting efforts to stay healthy, Saffolalife encourages people to find their own ways of integrating small steps towards a healthy lifestyle amidst their daily routine itself. For e.g. if there is no time to go for a 30 min walk in the morning, 10 min walks 3 times a day can be practiced to help reduce cholesterol. Standing itself burns 53% more calories than sitting; hence working professionals should actively avoid sitting for long periods. Travelling Time is again sited as a barrier to finding time to be heart healthy, but Saffolalife encourages people to use their travelling time productively for deep breathing, which helps reduce stress. Saffolalife is encouraging people to overcome their barriers to heart health, this world heart day by inspiring them to find their own ways of being healthy.