Economic Recession Takes Toll on Canadians' Health

Scienta Health releases results of third annual survey in collaboration with Maclean's Magazine

TORONTO, May 6 /CNW/ - Canadians became less physically active and resorted to eating more in response to the personal toll from effects of a tough recession through 2009. Basic sense of purpose in life was disrupted for many, while family relationships came under pressure.

These are the major patterns reported as Scienta Health released findings of its Third Annual Q-Gap Survey in Maclean's Magazine on newsstands across Canada today. Over 26,000 Canadians visited to complete the questionnaire, which probed for presence, frequency and intensity of approximately 150 symptoms associated with discomfort, disease and emotional stress. Scienta Health developed the Q-Gap to graphically portray the negative impact on basic quality of life caused by symptoms of disease and premature aging. These symptoms take a serious toll on energy, stamina, mental sharpness and concentration and, if left unchecked, lead to chronic disease.

"Canadians worked harder for longer hours and cut expenses by cancelling gym memberships - hence the decline in physical activity. Time challenges, household budget tightening and emotional worry caused many to eat more fast foods and comfort snacks - most of which impair digestive health" reported Dr. Elaine Chin, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Scienta Health. "Ontarians scored the highest symptom loads, Quebec the lowest - possibly a reflection of differences in work-life balance and outdoor recreation."

"A distinct increase in the level of personal turmoil was evident in responses. Canadians, nonetheless, complained little about frustration at work. We believe many were thankful to continue to be employed. Young adults worried most about their personal futures and their relationships with their families", commented lead researcher for the Survey, Dr. Virginia Florentin, an Epidemiologist and Scienta Manager of Health Analytics.

Also indicative of deterioration in eating patterns and activity were high levels of food cravings and a sense of feeling bloated. Both indicate dietary imbalances, lack of fresh foods and eating on the run. "Stress, too, contributed to poor digestion" said Dr. Chin. "We also found people complaining of lack of sleep, which impairs mental acuity and contributes to headaches."

Dr. Chin reported very similar patterns evident in Scienta Health Center, where individuals experienced added business stress, increased workloads, more stringent travel conditions and reduced time with families. Personal routines suffered with impaired sleep, less physical activity and a default to poor eating habits. Resulting clinical symptoms included weight gain and noticeable increases in biomarkers used to measure pre-diabetic development and cardio-metabolic risk. Individuals complained about low energy levels, fatigue, impaired concentration and depression-like symptoms. These symptoms carried over to the workplace, creating a syndrome of 'presenteeism' - physically present but functioning with sub-par mental acuity and judgment.

The lead article featuring these results in Maclean's Magazine refers to this group as 'the layoff survivors'.

To learn more about the results of the Maclean's-Scienta Health Q-Gap Survey, please visit which contains graphic and statistical highlights.

About Scienta Health

Scienta Health applies advanced medical intelligence and individual counseling to help individuals achieve maximum physical and mental health. The company serves three groups of clients. Its Toronto-based Health Center provides personalized preventive healthcare services to health-aware individuals, executives and professionals. The Employer Health Services group delivers proprietary health profiling, medical assessments and prevention programs uniquely targeted to reduce known and hidden costs of pre-disease conditions. Through licensing and joint ventures, the company partners with healthcare professionals globally, providing internet-based clinical applications for delivery of personalized preventive healthcare.


For further information: For further information: Elaine Chin: or (416) 222-5880

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