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White-collar Workers 'Unhealthy' Lot
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Most white-collar workers in China suffer from poor health, according to a joint survey conducted by Iresearch and MSN China.

The survey, released this week, said 90 percent of all those interviewed suffered from fatigue, memory loss, irritability, and weak immune systems against common diseases.

The survey covered about 80,000 workers, aged between 23 and 40, with monthly salaries of 3,000 yuan or more.

They had to deal with heavy work schedules, hectic lifestyles and balancing family commitments with careers. Few had little or no time for sporting activities or exercise.

More than half of those interviewed spend less than three hours a week on exercise.

Pressure at work was the most common complaint - 70 percent.

Many had psychological problems, but were reluctant to seek medical treatment. Only 4.7 percent said they would.

Thirty-year-old Kathy He lost her job on her eighth day of work.

"I was feeling rather depressed, when I received an assignment from my boss.

"I could not think properly, and made a bad mistake which led to my sacking," she said.

He's dismissal added to her depression, and she sought the help of friends rather than seeking proper medical treatment.

"I do not like telling strangers my problems," she said.

Of the men, 88.9 percent said they would remain single because of a lack of money.

The survey also showed white-collar workers are rarely involved in public welfare work. About half of those questioned had never taken part in public welfare events, and 62 percent "didn't even know what public welfare work involved".

However, 41.3 percent said they were interested in such work, but did not know how to get involved.

More than 90 percent spend their spare time reading or surfing the Internet.

Professor He Yumin of the China Doctors' Society said white collar workers should learn to appreciate life and treat work as just one aspect of it.

Shanghai Linzi Counseling Center said workers should participate in more leisure activities, learn breathing exercises or take up meditation to relax.

(China Daily June 1, 2007)

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