Indians more upbeat on health than Chinese, Brazilians: Study

Around 72 percent of Indians consider themselves healthy, compared to 60 percent in Brazil and 58 percent in China, says the The Philips Health and Wellbeing Index Report, that surveyed 8,300 people in over 23 countries over the last six months.

But only 16 percent of Indians exercise regularly and only 17 percent said they visit a doctor for annual checkups. The study also found that a majority of Indian respondents said they bought health food and herbal products.

"Our survey found that for Indians, health and wellbeing are more passive than active," Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer for Philips Electronics India, told IANS while releasing the report here.

Around 70 percent of the respondents equated happiness with their family, and said spending time with family and friends improves their feeling of health and wellbeing.
The survey, which was also conducted in 28 rural areas across the country, found that people in rural India based their physical wellbeing on three factors - access to clean water, toilet facilities and personal hygiene.

Women in rural households were more likely to resort to traditional and spiritual methods such as prayer and fasting to improve their sense of health and wellbeing.

In terms of cities, Bangalore is the top city in India when it comes to experimenting with new health remedies -- around 50 percent respondents used herbal medicines, accupuncture or yoga. But the city also tops the list of people admitting to consulting a mental health therapsist.

"The city has a sizeable number of young professionals, and the survey indicates that stress is a major factor in their lives," Sharma said.

Surprisingly, only three percent of Delhiites visit a health club, whereas Cochin tops the list with 40 percent. The trend of doing yoga is strong in southern India with 31 percent practicing it.

The report also found that Indians in both rural and urban areas rate declining vision as the top potential threat to their health in the next five years, followed by joint pain or arthiritis.

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