The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a study that shows that working overtime and the prolonged exposure to stress at work leads to several hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. This was the first global study concerning this issue, and the results look bad.
Data showed that the pandemic only made things worse and that the most affected area is South East Asia. The states that issued nationwide lockdowns witnessed a 10% increase in the number of work hours.
The study found that people who work over 55 hours a week run a 35% higher chance of stroke and around 17% higher chance of developing and dying from heart disease. Most deaths happen among middle-aged or older men close to retirement, especially when compared to those whose working week is 35–40 hours long.
Researchers explain that long working hours affect our lives in two different ways, both of which result in poor health. Most participants of the study confirmed that working long hours took a serious toll on their physical health, as well as their mental health.
Working long hours and the stress related to it are the most common among the triggers of health problems. However, adopting an unhealthy lifestyle is also frequent — poor sleeping habits, addictive behaviors, and an unhealthy diet are frequent among workers.