Stress, fatigue, PCOD: Lifestyle diseases are plaguing career-first women

Are you wearing yourself thin from work? Are you pushing the limit, and feel the need to pause?  Well, you're not alone. Spare time is a thing of the past for many in India.

India faces traditional health problems like malnutrition, poor environmental sanitation, and inadequate medical care. However, other factors have contributed richly to India's health woes - globalisation, industrial growth and fatigue. Women tend to be the soft target of this malicious malady as most working women in India also have to take care of their home. According to research conducted by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, fatigue is a common symptom among women in developing countries. In a survey in India, nearly a quarter of women complained of feeling weak or tired; more than half of them had had these problems for more than six months.

Often this occupational disease is shrugged off as 'side effect' of employment and therefore, it has been able to penetrate its root deep into the system like diabetes and chronic heart disease. A study conducted by global market intelligence agency Mintel finds that as many as 22% of adults in India say they are personally concerned about their fatigue levels, rising to one in four (25%) women, making this the leading health concern in the country, followed by blood pressure (12%), diabetes (9%) and being overweight (8%).

Despite fatigue taking a toll on employees health, for Indian workers work comes before health. Around two in five (38%) say that their career always comes first and 18% say they typically work longer hours than they are contracted for. And it appears that even outside of work, there’s little time to relax. While one in five (20%) say they try to study or learn new skills in their spare time to get ahead in their career, one in eight (12%) say they typically check or answer their work email after they get back home or on weekends.

One of the reasons for this attachment to work is because a majority of Indians see their work as a measure of being successful and also a definition of who they are, said experts.

Working Indians look to food and drink for energy

Putting the beverage industry at an advantage, consumers battling with tiredness seem to seek relief from food and energy drinks. Reportedly between 2012 and 2016 there was a 100% increase in the number of food and drink products launched in India containing the words “energising” or “energetic” on-pack.

Result - Lifestyle disease

Long-term fatigue is a public health problem. It could lead to lifestyle diseases and more serious conditions like depression, anemia, PCOD and diabetes. Loss of interest in work could further add to employees' woes.

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