Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Working Ourselves To Death

Lifestyle is the major factor in our health so the report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development sheds light on why America ranks so poorly in so many health categories. For starters, the French sleep a daily average of 530 minutes compared with 518 for Americans and 469 for Koreans. (I've seen studies that say Americans average a lot less than 518 minutes.)

Medical science is just beginning to appreciate the negative effects of stress on our health but our culture isn't paying attention yet. The French enjoy 30 days of mandatory paid leave every year, compared to with 20 in the U.K. and 10 in Japan. America has no mandatory paid annual leave yet, the the impact of the resulting stress build-up can be seen in our health statistics.

Americans may enjoy being the hardest-working people on the planet but the toll it takes on our health is a heavy price to pay. Is it any wonder we spend more on health care than any other nation on earth at 16.3% of our GDP? How long before we stop and smell the roses?

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