for the period 2000 - 2008 

Over the last decade, since the year 2000, the Health and Lifestyle Department of the Apollo Hospitals Group has been doing the Health Assessment and Lifestyle Counselling for clients that walk in for their Health Checks.

This article is a compilation of the Health details of 1,16,731 persons covered during the 9 year period from 2000 to 2008 from 8 cities (Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Kolkata and Ranchi).

In order to compare the improvement or deterioration of Health during this period, we have taken the period 2000 -2004 with 68,986 Clients as one period and compared it with the period 2005 -2008 with 47,745 Clients.

Our findings are as follows:-   

Fitness and Nutrition: 

Factor 2000 - 2004 2005 -2008
Do not Exercise 40.74 34.00
Physically unfit 70.25 67.03
Large abdomen 53.31 42.58
Over weight 72.08 61.03
High Fat intake 36.08 26.00
High Sugar intake 34.08 23.00
Eat out frequently 27.29 16.00


The findings that the urban population is exercising more, getting fitter, losing weight and eating healthier is compatible with the findings of the CII Corporate Wellness Survey of the same period of 2000 -2008. In the CII survey covering 30 cities and over 229,000 employees, the percentage of fitness conscious employees was even better as opposed composed to the Urban population with only 48.46% employees physically unfit and 32.52% overweight.

These findings indicate that Corporate Executives are generally healthier than the average population and is in line with the WHO findings that Corporate organizations frequently set an example in Business and Lifestyle which entrepreneual organizations follow:

Stress and Tension:

The 2000 – 2008 CII Corporate Wellness Survey indicated that Employee Stress in 2008 at 50.52% was higher than it was in 2000 at 39.00%. This increase in Stress and Tension, was attributed to the Global Financial crisis of 2008. However the Urban Indian Survey for the same period of 2000-2008 shows a continued downward trend in Urban Stress in all aspects, except Family relations as follows :-


Factor 2000-2004 2005-2008
  % %
Multi Stress 24.34 12.18
Chronic Stress 82.3 59.14
Occupational Stress 5.26 0.81
Daily pressures 20.44 6.84
Family Stress 3.51 14.48


A subsequent check with families covered in the Survey pointed to the changes in the Family fabric as being a cause of Stress, with more and more families becoming nuclear, and both parents having to work to make ends meet, as the primary cause of Stress. Other pressures included children admission to schools and the sharp drop in employment opportunities.

Alcohol, Smoking, Paan:

The Health ministries sustained campaign over the years to ban Smoking, Alochol and Paan, seems to be having the desired effect on Urban India, with sharp reductions in these habits as follows:


Factor 2000-2004 2005-2008
  % %
Alcohol 32.22 19.00
Smoking 17.33 11.83
Paan 14.69 3.00


The Statistics above are not those of habitual offenders, meaning that these figures pertain to social and infrequent usage .The figure for habitual and daily usage is even less.

Chronic Ailments

That the overall health of Urban India has improved over the last decade in most evident from the reduction in Chronic Ailments and consequent reduction in daily medication usage as follows:-


Factor 2000-2004 2005-2008
  % %
High Blood  Pressure 43.14 32.87
Diabetes 21.27 17.49
High Cholesterol 65.66 51.49
Headache 24.73 16.00
Respiratory  ailments 8.59 6.00
Digestive Problem 39.01 29.00
Joint Ailments 37.66 30.00
Daily Medication 36.26 31.00


Any reduction in Chronic Ailments can only come from a combination of factors. Certainly improved food habits, improved fitness and Exercise and also the reduction in smoking, may be the reasons, but this will need to be substantiated by a separate study.

We will also need to look at the very positive role that Alternate and Complimentary therapies and clinics are having in weaning away clients from over the counter (OTC) medication for chronic ailments.

Concluding Remarks:
  • Certainly with an Improved Urban Health report like this .Congratulations are in order to all concerned.
  • To the ministry of Health for its sustained campaign against Alcohol, Smoking and paan.
  • To the popular Media, Electronic and Print for popularizing the latest diets, Exercises and Fashion.
  • To the FMGC and other Health Product companies for flooding the market with healthy choices in foods. High fibre, low fat, low calorie etc.
  • To the Gym, Spas and Health Clinics for making available their facilities in every city –almost on every Street.
  • Most of all, congratulations to the urban Indian, the young and the not so young, who dedicatedly stick to their diets, and go for their walks and do their Exercise, with the objective of either body beautiful or just Health improvement as their age categories.


Written by:

 Prof.  Adrian Kennedy