Of­fice staff bat­tling weight, fatty liv­ers

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By HE QI in Shang­hai heqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

While white-col­lar work­ers in Shang­hai are pay­ing more at­ten­tion to their health, they have failed to man­age it ef­fec­tively, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased on Wednesday.

The re­port, jointly re­leased by Shang­hai For­eign Ser­vice (Group) Co and Pop­u­lar Medicine magazine, was based on the health records of 350,000 of­fice work­ers in the city and more than 1,250 in­ter­views.

While the re­port showed a slight in­crease among the in­ter­vie­wees in health man­age­ment aware­ness and be­hav­ior from the pre­vi­ous year, more than 97 per­cent of whitecol­lar work­ers were found to have health prob­lems dur­ing check­ups last year, up from 94 per­cent in 2013.

Ex­cess weight, fatty liv­ers and ex­ter­nal hem­or­rhoids were the top three health prob­lems, while thy­roid ab­nor­mal­i­ties showed the high­est rate of growth.

Ex­cess weight, the most com­mon prob­lem, was found in about 36.9 per­cent of work­ers. It was also the sec­ond-fastest-grow­ing con­cern, reg­is­ter­ing nearly a 15 per­cent­age point rise from 2013. The prob­lem was more fre­quently seen in male work­ers (55.1 per­cent) than fe­male (21.6 per­cent).

Fatty liv­ers, which were found among 33.7 per­cent of work­ers, reg­is­tered a sim­i­lar split be­tween male and fe­male work­ers. But ex­ter­nal hem­or­rhoids were more of­ten found among fe­male work­ers than their male coun­ter­parts.

Thy­roid ab­nor­mal­i­ties, in­clud­ing nod­ule, were found among 28.3 per­cent of the em­ploy­ees in 2017, an in­crease of 18.7 per­cent­age points from 2013.

The top five risks for male em­ploy­ees were ex­cess weight, fatty liv­ers, high lev­els of fats and uric acid in the blood, and high blood vis­cos­ity. The high­est risks for fe­male work­ers were breast le­sions, ex­ter­nal hem­or­rhoids, pelvic in­flam­ma­tion, ex­cess weight and fatty liv­ers.

Breast le­sions were found among 71 per­cent of women.

Weight man­age­ment was the top health con­cern for both men and women — nearly three out of four fe­male work­ers and one out of three male work­ers said they care most about their weight.

But a rise in health prob­lems in­di­cated that they lacked sci­en­tific health man­age­ment prac­tices, the re­port said.

Gu Jingwen, di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Huashan Hospi­tal Af­fil­i­ated to Fu­dan Univer­sity, said the health prob­lems found among white-col­lar work­ers were mainly caused by a rich diet and a lack of phys­i­cal ex­er­cise.

Half the work­ers said they failed to do phys­i­cal ex­er­cise reg­u­larly, more than 40 per­cent said they of­ten stayed up late, 38.9 per­cent drank sug­ary bev­er­ages and 30 per­cent ate junk food.

Some, how­ever, have the smart­phone to blame.

Zhu Guanx­iong, a 29-year-old data an­a­lyst, said he sleeps an av­er­age seven hours a day but sleeps poorly.

“I think the smart­phone is threat­en­ing our gen­er­a­tion’s health,” Zhu said. “The ex­ces­sive so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and in­for­ma­tion brought by phone burns up a lot of time and en­ergy.”

Gu, the doc­tor, sug­gested whitecol­lar work­ers “eat reg­u­larly, work out at least three times per week, and try to sleep be­fore mid­night” to im­prove their health. Yu Ruyue con­trib­uted to this story.

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