Workaholics may find themselves in the hospital, according to a study released earlier this year that tied long working hours to heart disease. British scientists released a study that found people working more than 11 hours per day to have a significant increased rate of heart disease.
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Journal, followed 7,100 British workers for 11 years. Those people who worked more than 11 hours per day were 67 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who worked fewer hours.
It can be a challenge not to work long hours, with organizations expecting more and more from employees. Employees frequently feel pressed to put in long hours to keep their jobs. While an employee may desire to keep his or her job, the long hours may or may not actually equal increased productivity.
People who burn out on the job may actually be less productive than those who take breaks, eat healthy meals, sleep well and keep work within more structured boundaries.
While employees and organizations feel stretched to meet the economic times – working longer hours with less staff can be seen as a way of helping the company and keeping their position intact – organizations and employees alike can band together for a healthier, productive work day that does not go on forever.
Both organizations and individuals need to assume responsibility for this growing problem, and show support for employees to work reasonable hours. An unhealthy standard won’t help the company or its people.
There is a difference between working an occasional long day and working an average of 11-hour days. For an employee to reach an average of 11-hour days, he or she has likely put in 14-hour, 13-hour and 12-hour days. This kind of commitment may be recognized, but if the employee winds up nonproductive, unhappy, unhealthy and unable to keep getting good results, the short-term benefits are not likely to outweigh the long-term pain.
Working late hours on occasion is probably necessary for many employees – but employees also need to set boundaries and manage expectations of what is reasonable, and when they should or should not be staying late.
There are a few steps an employee can take if he or she finds themselves working long hours:
– Take the time to walk every hour or two
– eat salads, fruit and other healthy foods
– take time to meditate or clear one’s mind every few hours
These simple tips can improve a person’s productivity and health, even when work occasionally gets out of hand.