Working Too Hard May Kill You

A new study out of the U.K. has some bad news for overachievers: Working 10-11 hours a day on a regular basis can increase your risk of heart disease by close to two-thirds. Out of a group of 6,000 civil servants, the study found 369 cases “where people suffered heart disease that caused death, had a heart attack or developed angina.”

The BBC reports:

After accounting for known heart risk factors such as smoking, doctors found those who worked three to four hours of overtime a day ran a 60% higher risk. …

The researchers said there could be a number of explanations for this.

People who spend more time at work have less time to exercise, relax and unwind. They may also be more stressed, anxious, or have depression. A career-minded person will also tend to be a “Type A” personality who is highly driven, aggressive or irritable, they say.

“Employees who work overtime may also be likely to work while ill – that is, be reluctant to be absent from work despite illness,” they add.

The researchers recommend maintaining a healthier lifestyle while at work, by “taking a brisk walk at lunch, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or by swapping that biscuit for a piece of fruit.”

If that doesn’t do it, maybe it’s time to reconsider the four-hour workweek.

Working overtime increases heart risk, a study finds [BBC News]