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Family, Books Best Stress-busters for Indian CEOs

Life in the fast lane, business competition, deadlines and staff constraints stresses out a majority of corporate heads who turn to family, books and holidays //for relief, says a new industry study.

"About 70 percent of industry leaders coping with work pressure suffers more from mental stress than physical strain," states an Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) Business Barometer (ABB) survey released Sunday.

Of 270 CEOs and CMDs who participated in the survey, 66 percent admitted that they do come under stress - with mental pressure being the severest form. 22 percent confessed to moderate levels of stress, while 11 percent felt them too high.

Yet, "not many corporate honchos prefer to consult their doctors unless they have symptoms of diabetes, blood pressure, indigestion and insomnia," the study said.

In response to another questionnaire, 82 percent of the medical consultants revealed that company heads do not visit them unless they have visible and severe lifestyle-related diseases.

"Doing business in India under severe competitive conditions is not easy. It tests your physical and mental stamina," said Assocham president Anil K. Agarwal, commenting on the survey findings.

Severe business competition and a need for innovativeness to keep ahead of rivals were attributed by 77 percent respondents as the main culprits for adding to the pressure.

Other reasons are staff constraints, work-related deadlines and constant business travel. There was an overlap of reasons among these three parameters.

All the three reasons were cited with equal weightage.

"Reading books (including at the airport lounges), spending time with family and listening to music were cited as the three main stress-busters. Yoga is catching up fast among the corporate leaders, while the good old habit of playing golf has taken a backseat," the survey states.

Of the stress relievers, books were favoured by 55 percent, while 44 percent found time with family and music the best antidote, yoga was a cure in 33 percent cases, while 11 percent either played golf, exercised or spent weekends away from the city.

Around one-third of the respondents revealed that meditation and pranayama, or breathing exercises, are their best bet for getting rid of stress.

"Interestingly, the CEOs in India said that their peers in the US, Europe and China suffer more stress," the report states.

The survey found ample reason to support the belief of Indian CEOs that they are better off than their counterparts in the US, Europe and China.

"The severe business competition in these countries takes the maximum toll on the corporate leaders than here in India," the study found.

(Source: IANS News)

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