Dying to Work

News Note

By Editorial Staff

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, June/July 2000.

We all know work is often the most stressful thing in a client’s life. Now, Japan has taken steps to help prevent “karoshi,” otherwise known as death from overwork. The Japan Labor Ministry’s plan is to identify likely candidates of karoshi (those exhibiting obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high blood lipids) and offer them free medical examinations that could prevent a fatal outcome due to overwork. In 1998, approximately 90 people succumbed to karoshi in Japan, up from 32 in 1994. After parliamentary approval, the plan could be in place early next year.