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The typical executive in Canada spends roughly 2,500 hours a year at work, either tied to a desk or worse, wasting precious hours in meandering meetings that accomplish absolutely zip. And thanks
to the wonder of technology, you probably spend a hefty chunk of your so-called leisure time tapping
out e mails, reading reports and generally feeling stressed out about the piles of work waiting for you
when you return to work.

In Japan. the word Karoshi is translated as "Over Work Death" The term refers to an increasing number of people suffering from fatal strokes and heart attacks attributed to overwork. The epidemic was recognized by the Japenese Ministry of Labour warning that: "employees cannot work for 12 or more hours a day 6-7 days a week, year after year without suffering physically as well as mentally."

The graveyard work shift working all nights increases the early death rate of too many middle age
young men. "Mr A" worked for a very large international corporation for as long as 110 hours a week
(not a month) and died from a heart attack at the young age of 34.

A psychological trait, known as workaholism has been shown to lead an employee to work long hours. There are two defining factors of workaholism,: High work involvement, being driven to work by inner pressures. Management, peers and spouses often times welcome hard work that offers up financial
and promotion rewards for the extended hours .

Overwork also has a negative effects on the family. As the executives tend to focus on their jobs, they can tend to develop negative feelings towards their family. As a result, avoiding family time increases, even though it may be their family that inspired them to work extra hard in the first place.

The jobs pay very well, and if you work longer hours then you can earn larger sums of money and provide your wife and family a very expensive life-style. The job does`t end at the end of a long day
at the office. Dinners and drinks at fashionable restaurants after the work day with clients to try and impress is part of the regime of those who want to get ahead.

Since not everyone can keep up with the pace stress-induced regime death is fairly common. Business men in Japan have been overworked for many decades.

The Japanese physicians tend to be overworked (85 hours a week) while facing a moral/ medical obligation to continue to try and help their patients disregarding their own health needs. The stats show that 30,000 men commit suicide each year in Japan.

"Jack" one of my clients from Toronto, a type A lawyer, with high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes, wife called to make an appointment with me to try and ensure that her husband would not die on the
401 on his way to work. Jack changed his life style. Walking, swimming instead of running to work to
impress his neighbours., He spent his summers at the cottage after divorcing his first wife, who was a lawyer who did not practice law, who wanted to be part of the "in group" of young coouples driven to succeed.

In many large corporations the executives make up the majority of those where money and moribundity are twinned in a faint hope quest to be successful. Mental stress and poor physical health can be the prognosis for those who do not take the time to take the necessary time to care of themselves.

A young executive will often give up health for money but a middle aged workaholic can not buy back their health. Make sure that you focus on your needs, good health and happiness and not your wants,
to have it all before you are fifty years OLD. It is all about your choices and priorities. Karoshi should
never be a viable option.

Len Lesser is an education-career counselor in Dorchester Ont. Drop me an e mail. I am interested in your opinion.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com