75% of working women suffer from health problems – survey

The daily ‘multitask’ requirement on working women is taking a toll on their health with three-fourth of them in the age group of 32-58 suffering from some life-style, chronic and acute ailment, as per a survey done by ASSOCHAM for the International Women’s Day (March 8).

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) latest study on “Multitasking Seriously Affecting corporate Women’s Health”, reveals that 78%  of working women surveyed in the age bracket of 32-58 years were found to be afflicted with lifestyle, chronic and acute ailments such as obesity, depression, chronic backache, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart, kidney disease etc. Those in the younger age bracket manage to cope up but are in a danger of slipping into the health problems, it said.

About 42 per cent of working women were found to be suffering from lifestyle diseases like backache, obesity, depression, diabetes, hyper-tension and heart ailments. Twenty-two per cent of women taken in the sample survey were reported to be suffering from chronic diseases and 14 per cent of the women had acute ailments.

Working women suffer from health disorder:

“The bar for being a good parent, the normative values of being a good mother, have gotten very high, and that leave mothers feeling a lot of pressure and stress,” said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM while releasing the survey on the eve of International Women’s Day.

While they are called upon to balance between their home and office responsibilities, increasing level of  job demands, long working hours, working under deadlines leads majority of them (72%) to general anxiety disorder. City commuting made difficult by inadequate public transport makes it worse while the issue of their safety keeps haunting them, adds the survey.
“Corporate women play a vital role. They have to double up as valued employees at their work place and home-makers after office hours. This takes a toll on their health. The ASSOCHAM would urge its member corporates to try and make the work environment as friendly as possible for them. Half-an hour Yoga sessions at work places can also help,” said Mr. Rawat.image001 (1)

Majority of the respondents said, while the jobs were demanding, fear of losing jobs in an environment of economic slowdown and low employment generation was making things worse for working women, points out the survey.

The worse part is that a majority of women suffering from such ailments do not get to visit the doctor. The reasons vary from a busy schedule to staying in denial mode and some of them take to home remedial measures. Increasing cost of medical also adds to the problem, particularly for those at the lower strata of jobs, adds the survey.

In the process, those suffering from chronic problems end up spending Rs four to five thousand per month on health care including the expensive tests. The penetration of medical insurance is pathetically low with the entire issue of health insurance requiring a relook, adds the survey.

The ASSOCHAM study was based on the survey of 2,800 corporate female employees from 120 various companies/organizations across 11 broad sectors of the economy focused on the health issues of corporate female employees. They covered all levels of hierarchy and the problem of health was found be prevailing all through the ladder of their seniority and grades.  The survey conducted in 10 cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
Women employees from 11 broad sectors:

Corporate female employees’ hectic schedule of balancing workplace and home along with balancing between social and personal requirements causes their health care ignored, highlights the survey.

The increasingly demanding schedules and high stress levels are leading to sleep disorders in individual lives and has wide ranging effects including daytime fatigue, physical discomfort, psychological stress, performance deterioration, low pain threshold and increase absenteeism. The survey found that nearly 42 per cent of the working women sleep less than 6 hours, on a daily basis.