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Corporate climbers don't work out enough: survey

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

10:12, October 31, 2011

A woman punches a mannequin set up in a community in Weifang, Shandong province, so residents can vent their feelings. A recent survey found Chinese workers lead an unhealthy lifestyle and are under a lot of pressure from work. (Photo/provided to China Daily)

BEIJING - The results of a recent poll released on Friday shows that although China's elite workforce has a good knowledge of health matters, most of them lead unhealthy lives.

The Chinese Center for Health Education surveyed nearly 4,600 workers from 50 businesses nationwide listed on the China Fortune 500. The survey found that while the respondents have enough information on health - nearly 90 percent of them gave correct answers to questions related to hypertension, psychological health, and antibiotic use - very few have healthy habits.

Only 6 percent of respondents said they exercise every day and more than 80 percent confessed to having experienced health problems, but less than half of these sought medical advice for their health problems.

"I don't have time for exercise. Sleeping means fitness for me," said 23-year-old Zhou Bin.

Zhou, who works for a Shanghai automobile company, was a sports enthusiast in college but said he has not done any physical exercise since he started working.

He also said he does not pay attention to his nutrition although he knows the importance of a balanced diet.

"It is an acknowledged social value that people should devote all their efforts and time to work, regardless of their health," said Zhou Xiaozheng, a professor of sociology at Renmin University of China.

A media worker in Beijing, who wanted to remain anonymous, was finally urged to go the hospital over the weekend by her parents after complaining of constant headaches for a month.

"I know it does no good to delay visiting the doctor. But I skip medical visits as often as possible because I have so much work," said the 24 year old from Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

However, doctors warn that people should pay attention to their health as they climb up the corporate ladder.

"Digestive diseases, obesity and high blood pressure all occur at an earlier age now, which is highly related to undesirable behavior, such as eating disorders and remaining seated all day long," said Zheng Shuai, a cardiac surgeon at Beijing Anzhen Hospital.


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