Corporate life is full of action. Being a high-flying executive does have its benefits - time sharing holidays, memberships to the most exclusive clubs, swanky work places, gadgetry and a great social circle. However, that's just a part of the story.
The flip side of success and all its trappings is the dreaded monster of diseases that is forever lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on the first unsuspecting executive.
Call it the sheer pace of everyday life or a complete disregard for the body's need for rest and recreation, but today most people who have a hectic work schedule suffer from some ailment or the other. Let's see some of the more common corporate afflictions.
- Heart DiseasesA high pressure job is often responsible for heart diseases in both male & female middle-to-top-level executives. Deadlines, meetings, irregular work hours, family commitments, relationships, excessive smoking and drinking - all these bring about pressure on the heart. Often symptoms like tingling in the left shoulder, chest pain and breathlessness are put down to stress. The incidence of heart disease especially amongst young executives is ever on the rise. In recent years the deaths of prominent corporate honchos like SAP's India head Ranjan Das, Reliance Industries' R. Ravimohan and, in early April, Future Retail's Raghu Pillai, are worrying examples of this growing problem.
- Respiratory and circulation problemsLong work hours and sedentary desk work all contribute to circulatory problems like varicose veins. Bad posture and continuous work in air conditioned offices cause a strain on breathing, numbness & joint pain, asthma, colds and other lung conditions.
- Piles, hemorrhoids, and fissuresSedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and irregular eating and sleeping patterns lead to improper excretion of waste from the body causing conditions like piles. This can be very uncomfortable indeed for the executive who cannot afford to take time off from his schedules. Most often the condition is ignored which just makes it worse.
- Digestion problemsIrregular eating, sleeping, lack of exercise, and wrong eating habits all cause digestive problems like hyperacidity, stomachache, ulcers, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Irritable bowel syndrome is another disorder caused due to irregular eating and stress.
- ObesitySome top executives take the phrase, "worth his weight in gold", too seriously and cram their life with more work than they can possibly execute. Exercise and rest take a back seat. As a result, they put on weight, which becomes very difficult to fight off.
- Depression and mental healthWorkaholism is now recognized as a mental health condition where a person just absorbs himself in work ignoring everything else - personal life, social life, and family life. These are high-strung individuals who crave more and more work, and at some point, succumb to mental fatigue and depression. Then there are those highly ambitious people whose self-esteem can suffer a major blow if they as much get a point less in their appraisals. Thus, psychological imbalances such as chronic depression, suicidal depression, and melancholy are on the rise.