Office life is increasingly affecting the health of the country's working women in cities, according to the 2018 China Urban Workplace Women's Health Green Paper released at the 13th China Health Communication Conference in Beijing on December 8.
The annual initiative was jointly launched by Tsinghua University and the National Health Commission in 2006. The conference this year was co-sponsored by Tsinghua University and China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the paper, sleep problems, stomach discomfort, skin problems, cervical and back pain, and irregular menstruation are the most frequently mentioned health problems of women in the workplace.
Seen from the labor market data of the World Bank for 2017, the female labor participation rate of China reached 61.5 percent, which is above that of high-income countries such as the U.S. (55.74 percent), Japan (50.5 percent) and France (50.56 percent).
Leslie Braun, dean of the Australia-based Blackmores Research Institute, analyzed that despite the dual pressures from the workplace and the family, Chinese women still hold a positive attitude in their work.
More than 60 percent of the women in the survey claimed they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current work, but nearly 30 percent also said they have been suffering constant insomnia, Braun added.
Meanwhile, psychological problems are also troubling urban women in China. Nearly 40 percent of women think they have a tendency to suffer from anxiety; 22 percent believe that they are in an anxious state; and, 17 percent said they feel lonely.
The survey indicated that work stress, sedentary working style, irregular work schedules, gazing at the computer screen for long period, and life pressures are increasingly affecting the health of working women. Many of them are often observed sitting in front of the computer for a long time, skipping routine meals and frequently working overtime.
Meanwhile, women in the workplace are also actively responding to the negative effects of stress on the body. Some 75 percent said they maintained regular exercise; over 50 percent take exercise at least once a week; and, 20 percent exercise every day.
In addition, nearly 80 percent maintained a balanced nutrition through controlled dieting, and about 30 percent of the surveyed supplement their diets with Chinese herbal medicine.
Experts say women in contemporary China's urban workplaces are under pressures and constantly pursue the goal of achieving self-worth, whilst health issues also need to be taken seriously.
While they are improving the awareness of health management, relevant national departments and health communication agencies should also take responsibility and provide scientific guidance for the group to live a healthier life.
(Source: Cnwomen.cn/ Translated and edited by Women of China)
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