How Overwork is Proving to be a Killer

Many people find themselves suffering from health problems due to their intense work schedules. Overwork has increased since 2000 and many people work a 60 hour week, handle intense pressure, face tight deadlines and think this is normal until they start feeling the consequences. According to recent research, many people are dying from overwork.

Overwork and the pandemic

With the Covid pandemic, many more people are working from home. This can have some benefits but it can also blur the work/life balance and lead to some unhealthy habits and disrupted sleep patterns. This, in turn, can increase the risks of strokes and cardiovascular disease.

People who still have work when so many others have lost jobs may feel they need to overcompensate. Many people are working more hours rather than less while working from home. They feel they need to prove to their employers that they are getting the job done rather than goofing off.

There are employees who have found ways to relieve their work stress while working from home. Exercising between work tasks helps and some people have discovered the benefits of Yoga and meditation. Some find that cooking a meal is a great stress reliever. One of these ways is sports betting. At Betus, they can bet on the 2021 NFL season.

New research confirms the risks

Research recently published in Science Direct shows that people working over 54 hours a week are at major risk and overwork is killing as many as three-quarters of a million people every year.

The researchers reviewed data on people working 55 hours or more a week, its health impacts and the mortality rates in many countries during the period 2000 to 2016. They controlled for factors like socioeconomic status and gender.

Researchers found two main ways that overwork has an effect. One is that chronic stress releases stress hormones and leads to elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Researchers also identified changes in behavior from overworking, such as sleeping too little, not exercising, eating unhealthily and smoking or drinking to cope.

Overwork affects different groups of people in different ways

The researchers discovered that men work more hours than women in every age group. Overwork is most common in early middle age but it can take a while for the health effects to show. The study covered a period of over ten years to account for this.

The data shows that employees in Southeast Asia work the longest hours while those in Europe work the shortest hours. There may be cultural reasons for this.

Many people in Southeast Asia work in the informal sector and they may have to work long hours to survive. The European work culture is more relaxed, with long breaks and more holidays. The European Union has a working time directive that employees cannot be required to work more than 48 hours per week on average.

Combatting overwork

Many societies still value overwork to the point that individuals suffer from burnout. If this cycle is to be stopped, it will depend on both employers and employees. Everyone needs to work together to address overwork and the health issues that follow.

Employers need to look at more flexible work, job sharing and other ways of improving heavy work schedules. There is also a need for employees to take measures to curb overworking.

They need to realize that staying glued to their computers late into the evening will take its toll on their health. Changes will also be necessary at the government level and countries need strong laws limiting overwork and ways to monitor and enforce them.


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