Pune, 26th October 2023: The global shift brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the significance of prioritizing a health-conscious way of life. As a result, individuals are proactively exploring diverse channels, both in the digital realm and the physical world, to foster and sustain their commitment to well-being.
Moreover, the pandemic has also impacted their behavior in many ways – the technology they use, how closely they monitor their diet, do they exercise regularly etc, reveals the New Health Normal report, published by Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Ltd (ABHICL), the health insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL), a significant non-bank financial services conglomerate.
Unlike pre-pandemic times, securing the financial capability to deal with health emergencies has become a part of the family’s financial planning. ABHICL’s New Health Normal report highlights some of the key insights related to how people in Pune are adapting to the new reality. According to the report, only 25% of the respondents in Pune have set aside enough money to use in case of medical emergencies as compared to 52% nationally. In addition to it, 92% male respondents in Pune are not sure if the savings emergencies compared to 41% nationally. Furthermore, 88% of respondents in Pune would actively seek an employer that insured your family medical expenses. 49% females in Pune compared to 33% nationally are completely dependent on their employer for medical expenses.
One of the most thought provoking insights in ABHICL’s New Health Normal report is that 85% of the respondents in Pune would trade a luxury item to purchase health insurance as compared 84.5% nationally in the ‘New Health Normal’. This demonstrates that people in Pune are prioritizing their health and are willing to make sacrifices to ensure they have adequate health insurance coverage.
Speaking on the findings of the research, Mayank Bathwal, CEO, Aditya Birla Health Insurance, said, “Due to the pandemic, in the ‘New Health Normal’, people are realising the importance of a health-focused lifestyle and are actively seeking avenues that can support it – both online and offline. It has impacted their behavior as well in many ways – the technology they use, how closely they monitor their diet, do they exercise regularly etc. However, as ever, adopting a new habit is a challenge for most, and the need of the hour is to motivate and encourage people to complete the last mile in their health journey.”
Pune’s inclination and dedication towards exercise
ABHICL’s New Health Normal report has revealed that people in Pune have a high inclination and dedication towards exercise, however more focus is required. According to the report, 85% of male respondents in Pune regularly monitor their health statistics as compared to 66% males nationally. Post the Covid-19 pandemic, 44% of Pune respondents aged between 35-44 years monitor their walking steps regularly compared to 68%.
The fitness buffs in Pune have also switched to using home-based fitness equipment rather than the traditional way of consuming health centric content as 69% of the respondents in Pune have searched for online fitness classes, YouTube videos, exercise/Yoga related shows on OTT platforms compared to 60% nationally.
Mental Health awareness grows in Pune, but stigma remains a barrier to seeking help
The rise in uncertainty and anxiety that came hand in hand with Covid-19 has brought about a strong focus on the issue of mental health. People are primed to talk about cause for stress, anxiety, and the solutions that are available, and where they can seek professional help.
The report further highlights the state of mental health awareness in the state of Pune. As per the findings, 92% respondents in Pune aged above 45 believe that mental health consulting should be included in the health insurance policy as compared to 89% nationally. While the millennials and GenZ are actively spreading awareness about mental health, awareness among senior citizen have increased as well. Interestingly, 65% of respondents in Pune are still hesitant about visiting a mental health expert, compared to 68% nationally as they would be very concerned about what people think. This hesitation is a reflection of the stigma surrounding mental health in the city, which is preventing many from accessing the care they need. ABHICL believes that by continuing to educate the public about mental health and reducing the fear and shame associated with seeking help, the city can create a more supportive environment for those struggling with mental health issues.
1. Only 34% in Pune feel that there is less taboo about speaking to a medical professional post Covid as compared to 30% nationally.
2. 29% respondents in Pune still feel hesitant in visiting to a mental health expert due to cost implication as compared to 36% nationally.
3. 91% respondents in Pune believe that mental health consulting should be included in the health policy
4. 25% respondents in Pune have estimated the requirement and planned for such emergencies whereas 68% are not sure which they have enough money for emergencies.
5. 85% respondents in Pune consider cutting down on some luxury items so that you could spend more on health insurance.
6. 88% respondents in Pune actively seek an employer that insured your family medical expenses as compared to 79% nationally
7. 45% of respondents from Pune claim they have been consistent about an exercise regime for over 3 months
8. Only 42% of respondents in Pune have a targeted number of steps to complete in a day or wearable they use to monitor their health statistics
9. 92% of respondents in Pune believe that awareness of health and wellness related issues has increased.
10. 43% of respondents in Pune searched for online fitness classes, YouTube videos, exercise /Yoga related shows on OTT platforms as compared to 60% nationally.
11. More than half of the respondents (72%) in Pune regularly monitor your health stats such as weight, blood pressure, etc.
12. 36% have reached out to mental health experts as compared to 54% in Pune.
13. Only 27% of respondents in Pune have started following a healthier diet post pandemic than 51% nationally.