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Economic crisis takes toll on employee health: Survey

April 07, 2009 11:51 IST

The global economic recession is taking a toll on the health of the workforce. Worst hit are the financial and IT sectors, with the pressure on saving jobs leading to many diseases like spondylitis and obesity, industry body Assocham said.

On the eve of World Health Day, Assocham released a study -- Corporate Workforce: Chronic and Lifestyle Disease. The report is based on the views of 210 corporate employees from 200 companies across 18 broad sectors like media, telecom and knowledge process outsourcing.

According to the study, 54 per cent of the workforce in IT/ITeS sector were found to be afflicted with diseases such as depression, severe headache, obesity, spondylitis and hypertension.

"Corporate employees have to survive the stiff global competitive environment to save their jobs, adding pressure on their health, leading to silent diseases," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

The financial services sector reported that 47 per cent of employees are suffering from fatigue, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, the chamber said.

In the media sector, 51 per cent of the respondents reported sick due to depression and high blood pressure. Fifty per cent of the employees working in the knowledge process outsourcing sectors were found to be suffering from chronic and lifestyle diseases, the study said.

Besides, 27 per cent of the telecom sector employees are suffering from chronic diseases.

The chamber further said the National Commission on Sleep Disorders estimates that lack of sleep leads to higher stress and reduced workplace productivity.

However, the study found that few sectors like education, FMCG and textiles reported a lesser percentage of employees suffering from severe health problems.

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