It is indeed a cause for concern that two out of every three IT professionals are at risk for developing Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes. Long hours sitting (sedentary lifestyle) in front of a computer screen increases risk factors. Unhealthy eating habits and erratic sleep patterns contributes to the risk. Studies have shown that 61% of the people who participated in a survey displayed more than three risk factors in terms of excessive body weight, high waist circumference, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. All of these individuals led an unhealthy lifestyle, had long periods of physical inactivity, were exposed to high levels of stress, and indulged in alcohol and cigarettes.

According to another study, employees who sit at their desks for eight hours a day are 20% more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke. Over a period of eleven years, researchers examined the records of 105,677 people from 21 countries. Approximately 6,200 died during the study period. There were 2,300 heart attacks, 3,000 strokes, and 700 cases of heart failure.

Heart diseases are like silent epidemics, and have become the leading cause of death in India. This increase has been linked to the ever growing IT industry. According to public health estimates, India accounts for roughly 60% of the world’s heart disease burden, despite having less than 20% of the world’s population. The most prevalent lifestyle diseases in India include ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease.

The prevalence of obesity is increasing alarmingly, especially in urban areas. The Body mass index (BMI) of urban Indians is higher (approximately 24–25) as compared with that of rural population (BMI of about 20). More than raised BMI, it is the abdominal obesity which is a cause for concern. Waist-to-hip ratio in the urban setting in men is 0.99 vs 0.95 in rural males. Abdominal obesity is also more prevalent than generalised obesity.  Asian adult BMIs of >21 kg/m2 were associated with the development of type II diabetes, ischemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and cancers.

There is only one solution – drastic lifestyle changes. While one cannot change one’s line of work, you can make adjustments to your daily schedule. Including regular exercise, increasing physical activity like running or jogging, or even just taking the stairs rather than the elevator, can help lower the risk. Eating healthy food, cutting down on carbohydrates and sweets, and going for a regular full physical check up helps in keeping you in control of the problem.

Star Hospitals specialises in cardiac diseases, and we also help people understand the possibility of reversing or slow down the progression of cardiac disease. Monitoring blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, etc., is essential. Adjusting one’s outlook and perspective is important. Cutting down or cutting out alcohol and tobacco usage is necessary. It is time for young IT executives to make crucial lifestyle adjustments.

Considering the need for access to prompt and holistic cardiac care, Star hospitals will soon be ready at Hitech city to serve the IT corridor. This new facility will be geared to cater prevention and acute care of cardiac diseases.  We are committed to make IT corridor healthy and happy.

*Source: Research conducted by Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

*World Health Organization (WHO)