China / Society

White-collar workers lack sex

By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-31 07:44

White-collar workers lack sex

Survey shows dedication to work has negative effect on health, relationships

Most young white-collar workers in China lack a sex life and physical exercise, according to a report released by Zhi-lian, one of China's largest online recruitment companies.

The report sampled 9,272 white-collar workers from major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, most of whom had been in the workforce five years or less. Respondents graded their satisfaction with work and life on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being most satisfying.

Sex was rated 1.64 overall, the lowest of all items graded. The survey showed that 53.5 percent of white-collar workers have less than one sexual encounter per month, and only a quarter have sex at least once a week.

White-collar workers spend only an hour and a half doing exercise each week on average, and half of the surveyed never exercise, according to the report, which was released on Zhilian's website,, on Monday.

The survey also found that one-third of white-collar workers never read books during their spare time, and nearly half haven't had an annual vacation in the past year.

White-collar workers in second-and third-tier cities in general are more satisfied with their work and life than those at big metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai, according to the survey.

"It suggests that many white-collar workers are in an unhealthy state, considering so many of them have little exercise and sex," said Rhiann Zhu, a public relations manager at Zhilian.

Besides heavy work pressure and longer working hours, family relations suffer from Internet-based communications media, Zhu said.

Traditionally workers rest after eight hours of work, but in the new era of the Internet, working hours for white-collar workers are often extended to even after they arrive back at home. They find it necessary to communicate with colleagues through media such as WeChat, she said, adding that frequent use of mobile phones has reduced physical communication between couples.

Although young white-collar workers have to deal with heavy work pressure, most of them do have time for physical exercise, she said.

"A big problem is that many young workers haven't realized the importance of physical health and tend to ignore health while devoting themselves to their work," she said. "We found many workers in senior positions are busier with work, but they can have a better arrangement for both work and life and exercise at least a few times every week."

Mao Zhenming, dean of the College of Physical Education and Sports at Beijing Normal University, said he is not surprised to hear that few white-collar workers do physical exercise regularly.

"There are various causes for a lack of physical activities among Chinese white-collar workers, including the education they received during their schooling, their social environment and their lack of awareness," he said. "Most schools still put too much emphasis on book knowledge and ignore physical education.

"Many white-collar workers are among the elite in their professions. They should realize that without a good physical condition, they cannot sustain great responsibilities."

Luo Wangshu contributed to this story.

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