Entries in Overtime (2)


Study: Working Long Hours Can Double Your Risk of Depression

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Work can be depressing at times -- that much most people know -- but now, a European study suggests that those who work long hours are twice as likely to experience a major depressive episode.

In a report published in the Jan. 25 online journal Plos ONE, researchers at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and at University College in London followed 2,000 middle-aged government workers in Britain and saw a link between overtime work and depression. They found that those working more than 11 hours a day were at the greatest risk.

The study was adjusted for other variables, such as socioeconomic backgrounds, lifestyle and other work-related factors.

Another study of the same group last year found a 67 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease.  Study authors conceded results might have been different had they studied a younger age group.

"It is true that depression is more common in middle age, and it might also be possible that in order to have any effect on health, quite a long period of exposure to long hours is needed," author Marianna Virtanen told ABC News in an email.

Her advice to American workers was to, "make a distinction between work and leisure; don't skip your holidays; take care of your health and well-being, especially sleep and exercise."

The average number of hours worked annually by employees in the United States has steadily increased, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's 2004 report, "Overtime and Extended Work Shifts."

American workers now surpass Japan and most of Western Europe in the number of hours devoted to working, the CDC reported.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Working Overtime Could Increase Risk for Heart Disease, Researchers Say

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Researchers at University College London report that long work days could increase the likelihood of developing heart disease.

The study, to be published in the April 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at almost 7,100 low-risk British civil servants between 1991 and 2004, screening out individuals who showed signs of heart disease. Researchers found that the employees who worked 11-hour days or longer on a consistent basis were 67 percent more likely to develop coronary illnesses than those who worked only seven or eight hours.

Still, the study authors noted that other factors were considered in their analysis such as age, cholesterol levels and whether or not a patient smokes. A direct cause-and-effect relationship between long working hours and heart disease could not be confirmed.

But while changes to patient care may be unnecessary at this time, the study's investigators suggest adding questions about working hours to physical exams if further research supports their findings.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio