There is a general acceptance that repeatedly working for too long is not a good idea. It can have a damaging effect on both your social life and your health. That said, there is nothing wrong with working extra hours on the odd occasion. It can make the job more exciting. Numerous studies have shown both the health risks of working long hours and the impact it has on productivity.
What are long hours?
A normal day’s work usually means that once you have finished work you have enough hours left for leisure time and rest. This often means a working week of around 40 hours a week. If you regularly work more than this each week then you are possibly working long hours. Studies have shown that if you regularly work long hours each week, there are risks of it affecting your health, both physically and mentally.
What are the health risks of working long hours?
While there may be a need sometimes to work longer to finish a task, it should not be a regular occurrence. Working long hours can impact both your physical and mental health. Some of the health risks include:
Working long hours over any period of time can lead to fatigue. The result is that you can feel tired or not able to concentrate properly. You may also feel irritable. Feeling tired all the time can also affect your output. It is important to stop and rest so that fatigue doesn’t lead to serious problems.
Stress and High Blood Pressure
Working long hours to get a job finished can be stressful. A number of studies have shown long hours as a potential cause of stress. With stress you’re also at risk of high blood pressure. By managing your working hours you can reduce stress and high blood pressure, alongside managing high blood pressure with medication.
Research in 2015 showed that where people work long hours it can increase the chances of suffering a stroke. This was despite researchers taking into account factors such as a person’s gender, age or social status. What the research has shown is that the chances of someone experiencing a stroke is greater in those who work long hours.
Compared to someone who works regular hours, if you work long hours the chances are that your risk of a heart attack is likely to increase significantly. While there may be a number of other issues, such as high blood pressure, that can affect your heart, working long hours is just as bad for you.
Risk of Obesity
If you are working long hours, the chances are that you are not going to be eating a balanced diet or exercising. If you don’t look after your weight, you may be putting yourself at risk of obesity and the health issues that go with it. You need to make time to eat well and exercise.
Reducing the Health Risks
While you may think that working longer will allow you to get more done, it doesn’t. If you are always working long hours, the chances are that your health and quality of life will suffer. Reducing the health risks means having a life outside of work.