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ANALYSIS

Saffolalife Study ’17 reveals barriers to heart health faced by Indians
Thursday, 28 September, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
On the occasion of World Heart Day, Saffolalife launched the Saffolalife Study 2017 which highlights the barriers to heart health that Indians face.

Its objective was to enable higher compliance and encourage people at risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.

There has been a rising awareness about heart health in India, but the startling statistics of the risk of CVDs continue to be on the rise.

Often they face daily challenges, which prevent them from achieving the desired body goals or maintaining a healthy routine.

The study, commissioned by AC Neilsen, dug 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.

It was conducted among 1,306 respondents across Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata.

In Mumbai, the study findings indicated that long working hours, job stress, the lack of sleep and long travelling hours were the key barriers that came in the way of making Mumbai heart-healthy, in addition to the temptation of tasty food.

The study revealed startling city-specific facts, age-specific and gender-specific barriers that came in the way of people’s ability to put in efforts towards a healthy lifestyle for a healthy heart.

It revealed that while both men and women found the temptation for tasty food and eating out as a barrier to staying healthy, there were some differential barriers which got highlighted between the two genders.

While women cited time spent in household work as a big barrier, men stated that job stress and lack of sleep hours were big reasons why they were not able to put in efforts to stay healthy.

When it comes to different age groups, household responsibilities and stress at home were seen to be skewed as barriers in the age group of 35-44 vis-a-vis the age group of 25-34.

The time spent on tablets and phones was seen to be adding to the sedentary lifestyle and was a barrier.

The lack of facilities and infrastructure (space to exercise/work out/do yoga/walk/run near their offices or homes) were also cited as barriers that came in the way of putting efforts to stay heart-healthy.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Dr Shashank Joshi, senior endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital and Research Institute, and president, Hypertension Society of India, said, “While there is a rising awareness about heart health, compliance and action are big areas of concern in India.”

“The Saffolalife Study 2017 reveals the barriers to heart health in India and putting efforts to remove these barriers can enable higher compliance  and encourage people at CVD risk to lead heart-healthy lifestyles,” he added.

“It is important to adopt ways to stay heart-healthy despite the changing food habits, the long working hours and the increase in work stress, which have become a part and parcel of our modern-day lifestyles,” said Dr Joshi.

“Our modern-day lifestyles have made us sedentary, be it in office, travelling hours or even at home,” he added.

“This World Heart Day, we encourage people to lead an active lifestyle, so that we can reduce the risk of CVDs in India,” Dr Joshi said.

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 is 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.
 
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