Many people have continued to work remotely, while some employees return to the office. Especially for those at home, the work-life balance can be a challenge, meaning you put in extra hours. Others have strenuous job that demands late nights. Whatever the reason, it’s important to note that working long hours can impact your health.
Working for long hours increases stress, and overworking may even decrease productivity levels. Chronic working might also significantly impact attention span and energy levels, leading to exhaustion and depression due to subsequent low productivity. Here are some common health concerns that stem from working too much.
With a heavy workload and long working hours often comes elevated blood pressure, which can affect your cardiac and mental health. Stress serves as a trigger for many diseases, aggravating several symptoms such as headaches or muscle spasms. Working more than or equal to 10 hours per day, more than/equal to 40 hours per month, or 60 hours per week tends to stir stress.
Depression and Anxiety
Overworking gives rise to many mental health issues such as depression, mood swings, and anxiety. Suicidal ideation is also a risk when it comes to long shifts or overworking. Research suggests that working more than 34 hours per week can increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
Headaches or Pains
Prolonged elevated stress levels associated with working too much may aggravate various chronic conditions such as cervical spondylosis or migraines. Tension headaches are also a common implication of overworking.
Sleep deprivation has been associated with overworking in many studies. The perfect night includes seven to eight hours of sleep. Fewer hours or poor sleep quality due to overwork or long shifts increases the risks of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.
Drug or Tobacco Abuse
Using drugs, alcohol, or tobacco is quite common among those that work too much, mainly serving as a source of relaxation. Increased consumption of alcohol or smoking significantly increases the risk of heart attacks, cancers, or obesity.
Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Evidence states that working 50 hours per week increases the risk of myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, and stroke. This increased risk is also associated with sleep deprivation.
While the relationship is not well-established, some studies suggest that high blood pressure is associated with working over 61 hours per week.
Physical Health Decline
Working too much might affect one’s eating habits, and skipping meals throughout the day results in weakness. This leads to decreased energy and binge eating unhealthy foods later that day. Maintaining work and life balance is essential, for one might end up neglecting physical health by spending all the time on their desks.
While it may not always be possible to cut hours, it’s important to note the health impact that working late has on your body.