How working long hours can pose health risks

man with a headache with a piles of paper on his table

All around the world, many people look at long hours dedicated to their career as proof of a strong work ethic. Although the average worker in the United States spends approximately 34.4 hours at their job per week, most people that work a full-time job spend about 47 hours per week at their job, and many spend much more.

Working long hours on the job can have adverse effects on your physical health, emotional and physical health, and negatively impact your relationships and social life. This is especially true if you consider yourself a workaholic, someone who not only works long hours but also spends time away from the job thinking about work. 

There are more risks to this workaholic lifestyle than you might think. Before you’re the deceased client of a wrongful death attorney in San Francisco, it’s vital that you know the risks of working excessively long hours. 

Diabetes Health Risk

For women, in particular, working 45 hours or more at a job significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Your chances of developing diabetes increases by 63% over 12 years, in comparison to women that work 35 to 40 hours per week. On top of long hours on the job, women often have household and family responsibilities that cause even more stress on the body. This constant strain and stress on the body increase the likelihood of abnormal hormones and insulin, which increases the likelihood for a woman to develop diabetes.

Atrial Fibrillation Risk

Both men and women that work 55 hours a week or more increase their chances of having atrial fibrillation, more commonly known as an abnormal heartbeat. Research has discovered a link between working long hours and abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system that controls the heartbeat. Atrial Fibrillation increases your chances of having a stroke by 33% and heart disease by 13% over time.

Mental Health Risk

Working excessively long hours increases your chances of developing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Particularly, people that meet the definition of workaholism increase their chances of having or developing mental health issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression. 

How to Avoid Health Complications

Researchers have suggested that it’s important to take time away from concentrating on work, not just work itself. Many people still spend time stressing over their job or thinking about completing projects even if they’re not on the job. Try to leave your work at work and not to stress over your job when you clock out.

Studies show that employers are happier and more satisfied with employees that are able to take time away from their jobs and enjoy their vacations and down time, in order to return refreshed and in turn be more productive and healthy employees. This saves employers money in the long run with less employee burnout and health related time off from work.