Posted by: lrrp | September 22, 2005

Stress Kills 6 I.T. Geeks

Chennai, March 28:

Six software professionals under the age of 33 have
died and 2 top executives from renowned software
companies have become paralysed because of
stress-related heart ailments in the last six months
in Chennai, says a study by Mitran Foundation, a
Bangalore-based voluntary association of practising
doctors.

“All the six who died, and the two who became
invalid, had no family history of heart attacks or any
pre-history of heart ailments or paralysis. They were
all in their prime, between 27 and 33 years, and
handled challenging projects at work in their
respective companies. They worked long and continuous
hours. The end struck them very suddenly, and it
looked as if their hearts refused to take any more
stress,”said Dr Dwarakanath, director of Mitran
Foundation, who has studied stress components in 40
software companies in Chennai during the last six
months.

The study, conducted at a cost of Rs 45 lakhs,
covered more than 4,000 software professionals from 80
companies who were in service for a minimum of three
years. The email responses were scientifically
tabulated and the findings were ready in 2002. Dr
Dwarakanath, who was the late Dhirubhai Ambani’s
personal stress management consultant, said
questionnaires extracting every minute detail were
sent to the respondents. The personal background,
family history and personal characteristics of these
individuals were assessed and it was found that the
stress in these professionals was only due to work
pressure. All other factors were eliminated.

“Our study confirmed that the number of suicides,
divorces, heart ailments, BP and diabetes patients
and mental depression are the highest in the software
industry. The fancy salaries of software
professionals are no longer something to rejoice
about,”Dr Dwarakanath said.

“We found that the software industry has simply no
routine. Deadlines hang before them and every day they
chase new problems. During weekends more than 60 per
cent of the vehicles are found parked in the office
complexes. There is no physical exercise and new food
habits favoured by pizza culture fuel the problem.
Cervical spondilitis and wrist problems due to
uncomfortable handling of the computer mouse, eye
problems and discomfort in bowel movements are
common. The stress for couples where both are
employed in the IT industry is the worst. The simple
step of taking time off from work for three months
allowed an IT couple wanting a child for years to
conceive one,”Dr Dwarakanath said.

M.T.R. Venukopalan, senior training coordinator,
Covansys India, acknowledged that IT professionals
were the most stressed individuals. “Even if the
company sponsors a movie or self-care lecture, not
many attend them,” he said. Jyothsana, a travel
coordinator for Temenos India Pvt Ltd, expressed
concern for the young employees who complain of back
and knee pains. She acknowledged that IT professionals
require a specific eating and physical exercise
routine to ease their stress. “Our lives are becoming
mechanical, guided only by deadlines,” she said.

So think again if you are staying late in the office
regularly.

Think again about your family.

Think again about your social life and health.

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