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January 7, 2011

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Health a rising concern for young professionals

CHINESE white collar workers born from the 1980s onward are paying more attention to their health than their peers in other parts of the world, as work pressure keeps increasing, a survey revealed in Shanghai yesterday.

Up to 78 percent of Chinese workers hoped to make use of health care facilities - such as -discounts at gyms - from their employers, the survey found. The figure was much higher than the global average of 57 percent.

The survey, conducted by Kelly Services, a provider of staffing services, covered more than 130,000 people around the world, with nearly 6,000 based in China.

The survey comes at a time when health issues are a concern for many employees - a 25-year-old local working at China Capital Investment Group's Shanghai office was reported to have died suddenly on December 31, 2010, allegedly as a result of long-term overworking.

Tan Shaowei, a PR officer at the company, confirmed the employee's death to Shanghai Daily yesterday, but she refused to comment on whether he had died from overwork.

The young man, who was to marry in June, worked as a research assistant. He joined the company in 2009, China Business News reported yesterday.

According to the newspaper, the employee, who was working on food and agricultural projects, often worked overtime and was under a lot of work-related pressure.

Peter Liu, a regional head of marketing at Kelly Services', told Shanghai Daily yesterday that employees in China are working harder and taking on more responsibility as the economy recovers and expands.

"Companies are short-staffed, and they also expect more from their employees and put higher requirements on them," Liu said, explaining the widespread phenomenon of excessive overtime.

Last May, a 37-year-old editor on a well-know website,, died of a brain hemorrhage after working overtime until midnight for several days in a row.


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