The COVID-19 pandemic struck chaos in the past two years, and everyone remained homebound as lockdowns and work from home (WFH) became the norm. Drastic reduction in mobility, changed working patterns, and altered lifestyles had a severe impact on Mumbaikars’ health. This trend prompted teams at Fortis Hospital, Mulund and Kalyan, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi and SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim, to reach out to Mumbaikars to understand their health awareness levels and its long-term impact that would shape their post-pandemic functionality.
The survey was conducted with a sample size of 5,005 Mumbaikar above 18 years of age of which 65 per cent were females and 35 per cent were males, with the majority of respondents being between the age group of 31-40 yrs. It focuses on critical factors and centres on gadget use, work-household balance, behaviour and lifestyle changes made during the coronavirus pandemic.
Key findings of the survey:
- Work from Home (WFH) and its repercussions:
- 56% of Mumbaikars were actively engaged in elder care, schooling, and management of household chores while working from home
- 73% of Mumbaikars did not have a proper setup at home to work efficiently
- Adoption of WFH & working hours:
- 41% of Mumbaikars spent over 10hrs each day working from home
- 18% of Mumbaikars agreed to be glued to their phone, when not working on their computer
- 40% of Mumbaikars while working from home spent 2-4hrs managing household & outdoor chores and 14% spent their weekends finishing these chores
Dr Kaushal Malhan, Director-Orthopedics & Joint Replacement Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, says, “Due to the pandemic, people were away from their exercise regimen and activities for the last two years. Now the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, they need to be cautious when they get back to their pre-COVID lifestyle and exercise routine”.
- Impact on bone & joint health:
- 75% of Mumbaikars faced varying types of bone and joint issues:
- Reasons for experiencing discomfort and pain:
- 26% of Mumbaikars attributed disrupted sleep cycle as the key reason for their pain and discomfort
- 24% of Mumbaikars attributed their discomfort and pain to managing work and familial duties all by themselves
- 17% of Mumbaikars attributed their discomfort and pain to long working hours coupled with their duties toward the sick family members
- 9% of Mumbaikars attributed their discomfort and pain to not being able to consult a doctor or seek treatment due to lack of time & 14% attributed it to not being able to work out and focus on healthy eating
- 58% of Mumbaikars believed that their ability to perform their job and household duties was hampered by physical pain
Talking about the findings Dr Manish Sontakke, Consultant – Orthopedic Surgery, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital said “As the survey highlights how sitting for a long duration for work and negligence to regular exercise have led to different health issues across all age groups. Now that we are going back to the pre-coronavirus phase it’s important to take bone health on priory without any further delay.”
- Handling medical emergencies & interventions:
- In case of falls, sprains, fractures, and other bone-related issues, 18% of Mumbaikars self-medicated; 15% did not take any action and hoped the pain would subside and 14% sought consultation with their family doctor
- 42% of Mumbaikars underwent time-sensitive interventions and surgeries as scheduled or during emergency
- 26% of Mumbaikars were advised intervention/surgery but feared visiting the hospital
- 58% of Mumbaikars delayed their intervention as it was not time-sensitive or were able to manage it through medication
“Drastically decreased physical activity amongst others have aggravated the obesity problems in youth, all leading up to tremendously increased load on the joints and muscles. Hence, lockdown or not, it is important to focus on healthy eating, exercising, proactive health screening and timely treatment,” said Dr Siddharth M. Shah, Consultant Orthopedics and Joint Replacement Surgeon, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim – A Fortis Associate.