• Kyodo News

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About 80 percent of Japanese working women grow tired on the job and eat sweets, even though eating them actually spurs fatigue.

These are the findings of a survey conducted by Chimeguri Kenkyukai (a blood circulation study association), a group involved in promoting health education and awareness with the support of Kao Corp., a maker of detergents, cosmetics, health food and feminine and baby-care products.

The group asked 1,000 women in their 20s to 40s if they became tired while working and learned that 77.7 percent of them responded affirmatively, particularly during the peak period between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Of this total, 28.3 percent said they felt “very tired” while 49.4 percent said they grew “tired.”

For a change of pace, they invariably reached for sweets — the snack most often found at the workplace.

Commenting on the fact that nearly 80 percent of the women surveyed suffered from fatigue in their daily lives, writer and psychiatrist Hiromi Okuda cited “fatigue in communications” as a reason.

“Family members once were the only people to talk to at night,” she said. “Now, people constantly talk to one another by cellphone or other devices and stay in communication until the middle of the night. They remain tense, worrying about what others are thinking and appear to be chronically fatigued.”

Failure to have a balanced diet also seems to contribute to tiredness.

“In recent years, quite a few people take food rich in sugar and carbohydrates, such as sweet rolls and canned coffee,” Okuda said. “Therefore, their blood sugar levels fluctuate sharply. Their brain becomes tired, which makes them jittery. Confectionery just make them more tired.”

She said fatigue will not go away unless people consume sufficient amounts of protein and suggested that they take meat, fish, eggs or tofu as a main dish at least twice a day.

For a change of pace at work, Okuda recommended that working women consume only a small amount of confectionary, warm their eyes and shoulders, and try different ways to unwind.

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