Working too hard? Running behind deadline, or just wanting to give that latest project 110%?
Here’s seven ways a little overtime can cause a lot of trouble
1. Depression Risk
According to new research, people working 11 hours or more per day have a much higher risk of clinical depression than those working six or seven hours per day.
Several reasons are suggested for this. A big one is the toll on spare time, which makes it hard to maintain relationships with close friends and family. Healthy relationships are important for mental health and general wellbeing. It’s also harder to look after yourself, with regular exercise, relaxation time, and a healthy diet particularly at risk too. Getting good regular sleep is often neglected as well.
And speaking of sleep…
2. Sleep No More?
Science has long known that regular sleep influences immune systems. New findings however show a direct, strong link between the system that controls circadian rhythms and immunity.
Given the connection between long working hours and poor sleep habits, this means workers who regularly pull long hours are also more prone to serious illness.
Not to mention skyrocketing coffee costs
3. Heavy Heart
Here we find a host of associated cardiovascular nasties: high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attacks. A recent study found working over ten hours per day was linked with a sixty percent increase in cardiovascular troubles.
4. Brain Drain…
From midlife onwards, working long hours is associated with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimers. More common is general mental decline.
Occupational overuse syndrome?
Research suggests lifestyle factors may be more important than genetics. Get regular exercise, socialise, learn new things, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pray, meditate. Introduce some balance into your life and keep your brain young.
5. …and Eye Strain
This one should come as no surprise, as anyone who sits in front of a screen all day knows. Whether it’s blurry vision, eye strain or headaches, ‘computer eyes’ is a common affliction for office workers and IT gurus alike.
What may come as a surprise, is that there’s a range of non-computer jobs involving long hours, including long-distance driving, that can also have a similar effect.
Do your eyes a favour. Every twenty minutes or so, take a break. Gaze out the window at the raw, breath-taking splendours of mother nature (if you’re lucky) or otherwise (if you’re less lucky) neighbouring office blocks full of similarly dazed workers.
Another excuse for procrastination
6. Pain in the Backside
Spending your working week sitting is another standard for most of us. Unfortunately, sitting is also link with a veritable horde of health problems. Cancer. Obesity. Heart Disease. Diabetes. Even death.
And while being a ‘weekend warrior’ is one way to slot some exercise into a busy schedule…
Desk Clerk, Mon-Fri
…it’s also associated with a significantly increased risk of injury. Sorry, Mel.
And last but not least…