Six in 10 Indian executives are overweight, reveals the Corporate India Fitness Report 2019 by health and fitness platform HealthifyMe, shared exclusively with ET.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Fit India movement’, rolled out last week, has therefore come at an opportune time as corporate India is struggling with physical fitness and lifestyle diseases.
Companies are responding to the challenge by making physical fitness a priority like never before & increasingly taking the app route to help employees tackle these problems.
Organisations such as Cognizant, Godrej, Accenture, InfosysNSE -0.08 % and American Express are either launching their own mobile applications or tying up with external providers to better engage with employees on fitness as well as measure the outcomes.
“Long working hours, irregular meals, intake of junk food, and lowered physical activity have made India Inc employees unhealthy and prone to diseases related to cardiovascular problems, cancer, high cholesterol, strokes, etc,” said Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, group medical director at Max Healthcare.
Health apps not only catch the attention of the predominantly younger workforce but also provide specific data for actionable insights, he said. The Corporate India Fitness Report 2019, compiled after reviewing the diet and activity levels of nearly 60,000 working professionals in more than 20 companies over a period of 12 months, reveals that 63% executives were overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 23. BMI measures body fat among adults based on height and weight.
HealthifyMe has partnered with more than 75 companies in India, including Infosys, Nestle, HSBC, Asian Paints and P&G, said CEO Tushar Vashisht. The app includes Ria, an AI nutritionist, and more than half the app’s users send messages to Ria about what to eat, how to work out and how to smoke less.
Accenture has launched the Zoojoobe app, offered by external provider RoundGlass, as part of its ‘Truly Human’ programme, to help employees create better micro habits towards a healthier lifestyle. Within a year, the number of users has more than doubled.
“The app nudges employees towards doing things as basic as drinking more water and staying more active to forming better habits towards healthy eating and fitter living. There are more than 350 habits that employees can choose from,” said Rohit Thakur, lead of human resources, Accenture in India.
The company’s employees are also competing with each other to count daily steps taken and forming groups on similar interests such as running and biking.
Till date, more than 18,780 health challenges have been taken up by the employees.
American Express India has partnered with digital medicine platform Doctor Insta to provide round-theclock healthcare consultation services to employees and dependents. Over the past six months, active downloads of the app have increased more than 20% and the number of users has increased 30-40% year-on-year, said Kabir Julka, chief human resources officer, American Express India.
At Godrej, employees can track daily physical activities and teams can collectively achieve their fitness goals through the Feet2Fit app.
“The current trends of people subscribing to health-on-the-go apps and using their smartphones to track steps, record running mileage and monitor their calorie intake, encouraged us to roll out a fitness app. It also made it easier for team members to join activities on the app from across geographies,” said Sumit Mitra, head of group HR and corporate services, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies.
HealthifyMe also has an ongoing partnership with Cognizant for Cognizant Health Challenge, a gamified digital programme that focuses on physical activities such as number of steps, hydration and dietary habits.
More than 40,000 employees participated in one of the recent 12-week programmes, recording about two billion steps taken, 184 million calories burned and a total weight loss of 9,840 kg, said Satish Jeyaraman, vice president of human resources at Cognizant.
Resource: The Economic Times