WHO says working more than 55 hours/week is leading to a rise in premature deaths!

Several studies have reported that people are putting in more hours and facing bigger workloads during COVID. The ‘always on’ syndrome just adds to the overall stress. People are working through sickness, taking smaller lunch breaks, in fact mostly eating while working.

In a recent report, the World Health Organization (WHO) shared that people working for longer hours are at higher risks of ischemic heart disease and stroke. This is applicable for people working 55 hours per week or more, as compared to people who work for between 35–40 hours/week.

Dr. Tilak Suvarna, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai shared, “Long working hours are a serious health hazard and are known to be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease and stroke. The likely reasons for the increased risk associated with longer duration of work are – Less time for exercise or physical activity, which reduces the risk of heart disease, irregular work hours which means irregular food timings and unhealthy eating habits and higher levels of mental stress, which is a likely risk factor for heart attack and stroke.”

Moreover, long hours of working account for about one-third of the total estimated work-related burden of disease and has been established as a relatively new risk factor for occupational disease. “The above factors are amplified during the current Covid-19 epidemic, with a large majority of people confined to and working from their homes. The boundaries between homes and workplaces have become blurred. There are no fixed times of official work. Employees are expected to be at beck and call even at odd hours. With an increasing number of lay-offs, the remaining personnel are overburdened with work. Thus, alongwith with COVID-related reasons per se, longer working hours may well result in a surge of heart disease,” added Dr Tilak.

There are many people who realise too late that they dedicated themselves to their work and failed to focus on everything else that gave their life some meaning. So before the burden of your job starts eating into your well being, find ways to move more, eat better and take time off!

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