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Life is hard for white collars with housing debt

ABOUT 73 percent of white collars paying housing mortgage in big cities complained about a drop in quality of life because they have to live with a tighter budget.

About 61 percent of them suffer mental problems such as anxiety, depression and irritability, according to a survey released today.

The Chinese Medical Doctor Association, the Chinese Hospital Association, and Ciming Health Check-up Group surveyed 49,839 office workers in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou to study their physical and mental health after buying or renting a home.

Among them, 32,249 were making a monthly mortgage payment while the rest 17,590 were paying a monthly rent.

Spinal pain, obesity, headache, digestive disorder, and mental problems are top complaints of these office workers.

Most mortgage payers in the survey regarded the monthly payment as the biggest threat to their health. Half of them have at least five days sleeping less than five hours per month.

"Pressure from the mortgage and working over-time are the main causes of their sleep disorder," said Lu Xixiang from the Chinese Medical Doctor Association. "Some people are relying on sleeping pills."

Unhealthy diet and malnutrition also take a toll on the health of these office workers as the survey found they tend to eat low-cost fast food, instant noodles and sweet food.

Apartment renters, though suffering less stress than homebuyers, also need to eke out their reduced income. Many complained about their strained relationship with others and a strong sense of insecurity.

Experts said the survey found 42 percent of the people have one physical problem and 38 percent have more than two diseases. Very few of them go to hospital for regular checkup and treatment. For mental disorders, only 10 percent have gone to doctors for professional guidance.


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