Stress fattens up male civil servants: survey
By Yi Whan-woo
Three out of four male civil servants are overweight because of stress, a government study showed Tuesday.
The Korea Association for Health Promotion said 75.1 percent of the 572 workers surveyed at the Central Government Complex were overweight or obese.
Men make up 54.2 percent of public servants. The survey was conducted as part of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s research from July to December 2011.
The obesity in men was about three times higher than that of women. Only 29 percent of female civil servants weighed more than they should.
Males are more likely to put on weight as they are promoted to high ranking positions or simply as they age.
Those in the fifth-highest grade for officials or with careers spanning over 20 years were more likely to be overweight. Also married men living apart from their spouse and children were likely to be fat.
“High-ranking male civil servants, who are in their 40s or 50s, are under extreme stress because of work, relationships with colleagues, and income,” said a health ministry official.
For women, young workers in their 30s who are equivalent to or lower than sixth-grade ranking officials were the most vulnerable to stress and were more likely to be overweight.
“In the case of women who were overweight, they were young and inexperienced compared to the men who had similar unhealthy conditions,” said an official. “The data suggests that women are less stressed as their rank and age go up.”
The official added that those suffering a stressful work environment, mostly men, tend to relax by drinking and smoking. Only one-10th of the group actively participated in sports.
“We will take precautionary measures for male civil servants over 45 to reduce problems related to being overweight that can lead to other serious illnesses, while encouraging young female workers to take classes for stress management,” the official said.