Health Topics

Healthy Living

May 2009

Corporate Wellness Review 2008
Prof Adrian Kennedy
In 1998-99, when Apollo Hospitals compiled the Health Status of Corporate India from details taken from the Executive Checks of over 15,000 executives from about 100 corporate organizations located in the six metros, the findings were dismal.

  • Over 56.05 percent of employees were categorised as having multiple cardiac risk factors; over 30.31 percent had multi factor cancer risk,
  • 70.89 percent were overweight,
  • 54.80 percent were physically unfit,
  • 83.71 percent had psychosomatic ailments, and
  • 30.31 percent used daily medication.
With a view to change this scenario in May 2008, the Apollo Hospitals Group and the Apollo DKV Insurance company along with the CII, instituted the annual CII corporate Wellness awards, in order to felicitate and recognise corporate organisations that achieve excellent standards in corporate health promotion each year.

The reasons for embarking on the scheme were several. The scheme would establish the wellness status of corporate India each year, and would thereby establish relevant ways to plan improvement at a national level. At the corporate level, each of the organisations would undergo a health audit. This enables them to plan their own health improvement strategies since healthy employees are not only more productive per shift, but also cost less on insurance, hospitalisation and medicare costs. At the individual employee level, each participant would undergo a health and wellness evaluation, receive an individualised wellness prescription, and get personalised tele-counselling on all aspects of lifestyle change including diet, exercise, stress management, quitting smoking, alcohol management, safe behaviour and also management of chronic diseases including HBP, diabetes, obesity etc, as required.

The Apollo-CII Corporate Wellness Survey covered 581 corporate organizations touching the lives of 229,494 employees from over 32 cities and towns. The list of participants reads like a corporates’ who’s who, covering both the manufacturing and services sector. Tata Steel, SAIL, Hindustan Motors, L&T, Pepsico etc were amongst the 200 companies that participated from the manufacturing sector. HCL, NTPC, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tele Services, several banks, Wipro, Infosys etc formed part the 300-plus services group.

A comparison of the changes that have taken place during the last decade contains good news as well as bad news. Marked improvement is discernable in physical fitness and eating habits. As a consequence, overall health also seems to have improved and there is a much lower utilization of medications. However, the economic slow down seems to reflect in the much higher levels of stress at work and as a consequence, home stress is also up. So also is smoking and alcohol consumption.
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