Wellness as a concept gaining ground as 40% Indians take to staying fit & healthy – ICICI Lombard Research

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Mumbai:Indians are clearly witnessing the impact of hectic lifestyle and multiple responsibilities. 44.5% of the respondents in an ICICI Lombard “Wellness” Research admitted to being under stress. Despite this, only 40% of the country’s population is engaged in an activity that would keep them physically fit. Interestingly, when asked whether they considered themselves to be ‘healthy’, a vast majority (90%) of them replied in the affirmative. The findings are part of a research conducted by ICICI Lombard ahead of the ‘World Nutrition Week’ being celebrated from September 1 to 7, 2016. ICICI Lombard General Insurance conducted this survey across 10 cities with over 1500 respondents to understand the current level of awareness, understanding and practice of Wellness among Indians.

Commenting on the study, Sanjeev Mantri, Executive Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. said, “While settling claims is the primary expectation from an insurer, we at ICICI Lombard believe in playing a more proactive role in helping our customer stay fit and healthy. This exhaustive Wellness research is part of our planned approach to capture evolving consumer health trends. It will help us further enhance our Health & Wellness offerings and thereby address the critical health related needs of our customers.”

The survey concluded that the average age for starting wellness – related activities was 24 years. Males are more inclined towards fitness (running, exercising) as compared to women, the latter focusing on balanced diet and other exercises such as yoga.

There was a palpable difference when it came to responses from metros versus non-metros – for instance, respondents from metropolitan cities associated wellness with being healthy in general (75%) whereas those from non-metros related wellness with prolonged life (68%). Among those who performed Wellness activities, 69% associated it with preventing illness, compared to only 52% of those who did not do any Wellness activity. Furthermore, the association of balanced diet with wellness was higher among people in non-metro cities, whereas regular exercise was perceived to be most important in metro cities.

The study revealed that wellness activities such as Yoga and Gym along with a balanced diet are key triggers to engaging in wellness. Exercising in the gym is higher amongst men whereas women follow Yoga more extensively. 51% of the respondents who do not indulge in wellness activities manage stress by listening to music (more observed in Kolkata) and 46% by relaxing (more observed in Lucknow) while those who do wellness activities manage stress by doing exercise/ yoga generally while listening to music.

In terms of risk protection, Wellness Active were more prone to being aware of and purchasing health insurance compared to the Inactive. In an interesting finding, Health Insurers were perceived to be suitable to offer Wellness packages by 47% of the Active respondents. In fact, 48% of the non-metro residents believed that Health Insurers were well placed to offer Wellness services.  On the down-side, awareness for insurer offered wellness services was low among current owners of health insurance, the same being limited to OPD related benefits or discount vouchers.

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