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December 4, 2009

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Office workers under pressure

FEWER than 3 percent of office workers in major Chinese cities are healthy and most blame their condition on stress because of soaring house prices, according to a recent survey.

The research, conducted by Health Maintenance Organization China and the People's Daily online, surveyed 3 million office workers in 31 provinces and municipalities. Forty-six percent said their home-owning dream had become a grueling nightmare.

Thirty-eight percent said the health of their parents concerned them most, especially for those whose parents lived in another city.

Young workers also said they felt under stress when parents tried to persuade them to marry when they couldn't find an ideal partner.

Researchers said the study was the first of its kind to look specifically at well-paid office workers in China's big cities.

Stress for office workers was significantly larger in large cities, according to the study, with Shanghai ranking third on the list of the most stressful cities in China after Beijing and Shenzhen.

The survey found that the top three potential killers of the office workers were cancer, heart attacks and strokes. All three are considered to be induced by stressful work and irregular lifestyles.

Among those polled, 76 percent of workers said their health was below par and nearly 60 percent complained they were frequently overworked.

Stress hit hardest on the middle-aged workers, those in the 35 to 50 age range.

They were found to have a biological age, an index to their health condition and the aging process, 10 years older than their chronological age.


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