Most urban Indians neglect preventive wellness: Himalaya survey


68% of urban Indians do not practice preventive healthcare at an early stage, when they do not suffer from lifestyle disorders

Fewer than one third urban Indians are bothered about taking proactive measures to adopt preventive wellness, according to India’s first survey to understand wellness trends amongst urban adults in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. The survey was conducted to bring out the trends and perceptions about ‘wellness’ amongst a total sample size of 896 urban and semi-urban people in the age group of 20-55 years, and who were interviewed to draw insights to understand the perception of wellness in India. Respondents from Mumbai perceived themselves to be healthier compared to their counterparts from Delhi and Bangalore.

IMAGE-FOR-HIMALAYA-WELLNESS-PAVANRCHAWLAdotCOMWellness is actually a nascent concept in India and very few people have a clear understanding of the true meaning of the term. Most often people equate wellness to lifestyle practices like spa treatments, consumption of green tea etcetera instead of preventative care. So as a manufaturer of several wellness supplements and ayurvedic alternatives, Himalaya is an active advocate of helping consumers lead a healthier and enriched life, and seeks to build and define the wellness space in India. It came together with IMRB to conduct “a one-of-a-kind” Wellness Survey to assess the consumer’s awareness of wellness and lifestyle issues affecting their overall well-being. The survey was conducted in three major metros – Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai  with nearly 300 respondents from each city. The survey has brought out some interesting trends and perceptions about the understanding of wellness.

Here are some key insights observed in Mumbai:

  • 52% of Mumbaikars believe that self-initiative was the best way to stay healthy
  • 84% of Mumbaikars take preventive healthcare measures to compact future illness
  • 17% of Mumbaikars are reluctant to take health supplements
  • Mumbai people suffer most from Pain in neck/back/joint/arthiritis (20%), Low immunity (18%), stress (13%), Obesity (8%)

Joint pains, low immunity, obesity chief pain points

The survey, conducted by Himalaya Wellness and IMRB found that 61% of people have acknowledged facing some health issues, with joint pains (27%), low immunity (19%) and obesity (12%) being the top among it. Out of this, females and elderly are more prone to having a higher incidence of any health issues.

Ready for lifestyle shifts for overall wellness

The findings also state that people are now willing to make lifestyle shifts in order to achieve overall wellness. People recognized that preventive wellness is necessary to ensure a healthy tomorrow, and this increase in awareness reflects the need for change in everyone’s hectic routines.

It is perhaps but a coincidence that the findings of the survey, conducted by a supplements- and ayurvedic wellness products, have revealed that as many as 49% of the people considered supplements and Ayurveda products as effective preventive wellness measures. Be that as it may, the wellness survey has thrown up several interesting insights into the general perception of and attitudes towards wellness across three major metros of India, albeit through small sample sizes.

People aware, but don’t seem to care

It is an important area, and while people are aware of what they need to do, they obviously don’t seem to care. So suggests Dr. Mohamed Rafiq, Principal Scientist –  Research and Development Center, The Himalaya Drug Company, who was quoted in a communiqué as: “This survey … reveals that while people have a high appreciation for preventive healthcare, they seldom practice necessary steps required to achieve overall wellness.”

Key beliefs

62% of respondents believed that work-life balance is the key to achieve a healthy life and 67% of the respondents attribute wellness to maintaining a balanced diet. According to 80% of respondents, improper diet was the main reason for their health issues.

As Sudheer Srinivas, General Manager, Wellness Division at Himalaya Drug Company, said, “Wellness is a nascent space in the Indian market and people’s perceptions towards health and wellness change at a fast pace. …We aim to define the segment by thoroughly understanding consumer perceptions and busting the myths that exist in different markets. This survey will help us delve deep into each key market and understand both the awareness levels as well as the motivations that drive people to adopt preventive healthcare measures.”

And indeed, the survey has thrown up several interesting points for which Himalaya Wellness,  a newly created division of the Himalaya group, deserves praise. Before getting to the highlights of the survey findings, here’s a little more about this new division of the Himalaya group,  which was launched in December 2015. It is divided into three wings comprising of  Pure Herbs, General Wellness and Nutrition, and attempts to address a wide spectrum of medical issues — from preventive care to health management.

So here are the key highlights from the IMRB study conducted for Himalaya Wellness for India’s first survey to understand wellness trends:

Highlights – Himalaya-IMRB wellness study 

(Also see infographic below)

  • 68% of all people do not practice preventive healthcare from an early stage when they do not suffer from any chronic lifestyle disorders
  • Out of all the people who believe supplements are necessary to prevent diseases, only 42.85% consume it
  • Young people are more inclined towards preventive healthcare, with 93% of preventive healthcare seekers belonging to 20-30 age group
  • Lack of self-motivation (34%) as well as time constraints (23%) are the key barriers to adopt preventive measures
  • Preventive health seekers are more inclined towards physical fitness and curative health seekers towards taking health supplements
  • Health drinks, home-made protein shakes and Chyawanprash are commonly used food or health supplements. About 1/10th of people in Delhi and Mumbai use vitamin or mineral tablets
  • 85% of Mumbaikars believe that self-initiative was the best way to stay healthy, 58% of Bengalurueans relate to mental stimulation and socializing for being healthy
  • 72% of Bengalurueans believe that work-life balance is the most important aspect of preventive healthcare
  • 53% of Delhiites initiate healthy habits to maintain good physical appearance
  • Delhiites perceive themselves to be more proned to obesity compared to other two markets (23 % vs. 8% and 6% in Mumbai and Bengaluru)


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