Study Says – Working For Long Hours In A Week Affects Your Health

Working For Long Hours In A Week Affects Your Health
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Work has a major impact on our overall health and wellbeing. This isn’t such a shocker if you bear in mind that most of us spend the almost entire day at work and dealing with tremendous stress.

Work-related stress negatively affects our health and increases* the risk of numerous diseases. But, what about the length of the work week? The latest study showed that long work weeks also have a negative effect on your health. How does it happen? Keep reading to find out more.

Length Of Work Week And Your Health

Even though it was theorized that long working hours may increase* the risk of cardiovascular disease, current evidence is relatively inconclusive and usually limited to a few factors only.

A group of scientists from South Korea conducted a study with a goal to investigate a relationship between the incidence of cerebrocardiovascular diseases and weekly working hours.

For this purpose, researchers analyzed data from 1042 cases from the workers’ compensation database for 2009.

They assessed average working hours during a week before the onset of illness and average weekly working hours eight days and 3 months prior to the onset of cerebrocardiovascular diseases.

Results of the study were published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine[1] and they showed that working 61-70 hours a week increases* the risk of heart disease by 42% while working 71-80 hours a week raises the heart disease risk by staggering 63%.

These findings are important because we tend to spend more and more time working and heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

Shorter Workweek Info

Previous Research

These findings confirm discoveries made by a team of scientists from the University College London and the University of Helsinki who carried out a study whose primary objective was to evaluate long working hours as a risk factor for stroke and coronary heart disease.

To get their answers, scientists used databases such as PubMed and Embase and obtained unpublished data from 20 cohort studies. Also, they evaluated 25 studies from 24 cohorts in Europe, Australia, and the US. A total of 603,838 men and women participated in these studies.

Findings were published in the Lancet[2] and they revealed that employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than their counterparts who work standard hours.

Scientists who worked on this study emphasize the importance of management of vascular factors in people who work long hours.

Working Longer Doesn’t Mean Working Better

Due to higher demands and constant pressure to keep up with everything, we spend most of our time working even during our personal time. While it’s easy to assume that working overtime is better and people get more stuff done, that’s not the case.
Working overtime doesn’t increase* productivity[3], it kills it. Why? Long hours affect your concentration and ability to focus and they decrease* a person’s efficiency. Working less might seem counterproductive, but it is an effective method of getting more things done.

For example, Germany has the strongest economy in Europe even though an average worker spends only 35.6 hours a week at his/her job.

See More: Are You Just Following the Eat, Work and Sleep Cycle?

Conclusion

A growing body of evidence confirms that work-related stress increases* the risk of different health conditions. The latest study inspected the link between heart disease and a length of working week.

Scientists discovered that the more hours you spend at work each week, the higher the risk of developing heart disease.

Working overtime doesn’t increase* productivity, but increases* it which is why it would be practical to decrease* the amount of work time in order to get more things done.

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.