Connect to Us LinkedIn Youtube RSS

KOREANS ARE TURNING TO 'FAST HEALING' TO FIX THEIR MIND AND BODIES

Aruba, October 2, 2017 - Time-stretched Koreans are turning to “fast healing” to fix their minds and bodies

All the napping pods were already full shortly after noon at one nap cafe in Seoul’s business district of Gangnam on a recent weekday. Some customers, recharged from their naps, hung out in a common area equipped with bean bags, board games, and acoustic guitars while sipping iced coffee.
 
Jung Woon-mo, 59, opened Shim Story—which calls itself a “public convenience lounge”—in 2015, when he realized that stressed out and exhausted Koreans had few public parks or other resting areas to go to during their lunch hours in the capital. Customers, who also include tired students looking for some downtime before going to tutoring sessions, pay 7,000 won ($6.20) to nap for an hour with a drink included.
 
The growing popularity of nap cafes in the country is part of a growing industry known as “fast healing,” as tired but time-poor Koreans look for quick fixes to soothe not only their bodies, but also their minds. It’s an industry that encompasses everything from massage chairs to yoga to mattresses—the word “sleeponomics” is used to describe the rapidly growing industry servicing Korea’s sleep deprived. A “healing fair” (link in Korean) held earlier this year in Seoul had over 300 booths selling “healing” products, as well as activities including group yoga, ornament-making classes, and seminars, including one titled “The solution to brain fatigue that makes a happy life.”
Office workers are so desperate for some shut-eye that one cinema in Yeouido, a business district in Seoul, was offering a nap service called “Siesta” (link in Korean) during lunch hours, priced at 10,000 won ($8.80) for an hour and a half.
 
Getting more rest has been part of president Moon Jae-in’s message. He promised to take all of his allotted 21 days of paid leave this year to set a good example for people—though he didn’t seem to set a very good example of work-life balance, as his first trip was to the city of Pyeongchang, where the winter Olympics will be held next year, in order to draw more attention to the venue.
 
An OECD ranking of 39 countries for 2016 put South Korea in the No. 3 spot for working hours (after Mexico and Cost Rica), with an average annual number of 2,069 hours. A recent survey found that almost half of Korean workers have less than five days of vacation a year.
 
 

By orbitalnets.com