In a recent survey conducted by Regus, the world leader in virtual offices, South Africa was shown to have a high number of workers who go over the prescribed 8 hour daily load. Of these South Africans, 58% bring unfinished work home. Our drive to get ahead and own the latest and best on offer has an adverse effect on our health. In other words, the next time you a buy a tablet PC think not only of the price of the item, but also on its cost in terms of your well-being.
This isn’t unusual as a global trend, but in South Africa it is a phenomenon on the rise. While South Africans are hardworking and flexible, they have had to adjust to a faster pace of life because of the country’s growth. The pressure to deliver goods and services has increased and it is wreaking havoc on a balanced, healthy body and lifestyle.
Regus also revealed that 14% of South Africans work over 11 hours daily, and that 39% are from Johannesburg while 38% come from Cape Town. There has been a success in shifting to virtual offices, but 17% of virtual workers in South Africa still go over an 8 hour day.
Compared to the rest of the world, this means South Africans are working harder and longer than the 43% from other countries. It is also interesting to note that South African employees are starting to show anxiety, mood swings, and depression or sickness because they don’t have the right balance in their life.
The Need for a Balanced Life
According to the South African Stress and Health Organization, overworking is causing mood disorders and South Africa now ranks #7 internationally for the occurrence of such disorders. As for anxiety disorders, the country is also on the top 10 list at number 6. Health is being compromised for work, and people will start getting sick unless a balanced life is targeted.
The Cancer Association of South Africa or CANSA has also begun to voice their concern. They have launched their Cancer Smart meals to help South Africans follow a more balanced nutrition programme. They believe that 40% of the cancer cases are preventable if only the patients followed a more balance lifestyle. This would include routine exercises, quitting cigarettes, less exposure to sun, lower toxic substance intake like alcohol, and good nutrition.
The excessive lifestyle of many South Africans is seen as a prevailing reason for medical conditions and premature death. In addition, CANSA emphasizes that the trend is passed on to the next generation with kids exposed to this kind of lifestyle by their parents.
Some of the recommended changes in lifestyle for a balanced life are:
• Weight loss through a sound diet plan and not using diet pills or starvation
• Annual visits to a doctor
• Exercise daily for 30 minutes
• Balance of work, family life, church, and community
It is easy to manage balance in life if work is put in the right perspective. Also, it must be done with the support of family, friends, and employer. After all, it is in their best interest that you continue to be productive and happy. And getting started is as easy as taking a few minutes to buy shoes online: with a comfortable pair of shoes, a walk of a few minutes a day will become more realisable.
It’s not about the Money
Good health, happiness, and a balanced life are more important than money and income from your job or business. Money can buy you things and allow you travel but it will wear you down if no controls are put in place.