Working till late can be beneficial to you in numerous ways whereas it is very harmful for your health in long run. The duration of normal office hours should be 8 hours per day. Working beyond those hours could be harmful for your body and mind. The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that a combination of stress, raised blood pressure and unhealthy diets stemming from long working hours may be the cause of thousands of workers’ serious health problems. It is better to balance your time accordingly for the well being.
What researches have to say about working more than 9 hours
Various organizations and independent researchers have looked at the physical, mental, emotional, and social effects of working beyond the standard 40 hours a week. Notable findings include the following:
- Cardiovascular issues rises if a person works more than 9 hours a day.
- 10 percent of those working 50 to 60 hours report relationship problems; the rate increases to 30 percent for those working more than 60 hours.
- Working more than 40 hours a week is associated with increased alcohol and tobacco consumption, as well as unhealthy weight gain in men and depression in women.
- Little productive work occurs after 50 hours per week.
- In companies with normal overtime, only 23 percent had absentee rates above 9 percent. In companies with high overtime, 54 percent had absentee rates above 9 percent.
- Individuals working 11 hours or more of overtime have an increased depression risk.
- Injury rates increase as work hours increase. Those who work 60 hours per week have a 23 percent higher injury hazard rate.
- In companies with an 8.7 percent overtime rate, researchers found no fatigue-related problems. When the overtime rate was 12.4 percent, however, fatigue-related problems were minor. By the time the overtime rate hit 15.4 percent, fatigue-related problems were severe.
- In manufacturing industries, a 10 percent increase in overtime yields a 2.4 percent decrease in productivity.
- In white collar jobs, productivity declines by as much as 25 percent when workers put in 60 hours or more.
- Many of the problems identified above tie to stress, which connect to hormonal balances. Specifically, stress raises cortisol, which can disrupt sleep, appetite, blood pressure, immune system function, memory/cognition, mood, and more.
10 reasons why working till late can destroy your health and well being
Those who work 48 hours a week or more who are more likely to consume what researchers call “risky” amounts of alcohol; “14 units per week for a woman and more than 21 for a man.” The study also found that the more you work, the more you tend to drink, with those who work 55 hours or more a week being 12 percent more at risk of overdoing it than those who keep it to a regular 40-hour work week. So, basically, all those extra hours are literally driving you to drink.
But alcoholism is just the beginning of health issues that can result from working long hours. Here are nine other problems that can arise due to working overtime. And remember: The body and brain need time to rest and regroup. That’s why taking breaks throughout the day is paramount to a job productivity, brain productivity, and overall sanity.
1. Working late can lead to heart diseases
A 2012 study by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that those who worked more than an eight-hours a day had a 40 to 80 percent greater chance of heart disease, as opposed to those who clocked out when their eight hours was up. These findings were very similar to those of a 2011 study that showed risks of heart disease went up by 67 percent for those who worked an 11 hour day.
2. Prolonged working hours lead to weight gain
If you’re trying to keep your weight in check, then working long hours is one of the worst things you can do for that goal. When you work too much, you not only pass on the exercising, but any good eating habits you may have once had tend to go out the window. Instead of home-cooked meals, you get take-out, or go to the vending machine for chips to tide you over, or even skip a meal all together. The combination of not eating healthy and not working out is just giving more fuel to your battle of the bulge.
3. Drinking alcohol on your off days might add on to the problems
After working and over timing all through out the week, a person always looks forward keenly to the weekend parties where he likes to strain his stress on alcohol. Men who spend 49 hours or more a week in their office consume more alcohol than guys who tap out at 48 hours or less, a Finnish study found. But this strategy might leave you more stressed than when you first slunk down on that bar stool: The same study found that downing more than 2 drinks a night started to affect the men’s performance at their jobs.
4. Over timing at work may lead to infertility
It might seem strange to think that long hours could contribute to what’s going on with your reproductive organs, but it really does. Studies have shown that those who lead a “sedentary lifestyle,” as in all those hours sitting at your desk and not working out, have been linked to have lower fertility rates in both men and women. Getting up from your desk every hour, taking the stairs instead of elevator, and stretching throughout the day will help get things moving.
5. Working for late hours gives you back ache
Your head’s not the only thing that pounds when you’re riddled with work. Workaholics are significantly more likely to report disabling back pain than those who aren’t as job-obsessed, according to a recent Japanese study. It is not just the physical factor, psychological reasons too stand up for the back ache problems. If you are a person who spends much of his or her time at office should follow this simple remedy of it. Support your lower back with a pillow, keeping your hands, wrists, forearms, and thighs parallel. This perfects your posture and eases pain according to guidelines from Harvard Medical School.
6. Always thinking about work might make you dumb
According to Tasha Eurich, Ph.D., author of Bankable Leadership, “We actually get stupider when we work too much.” It may seem like an exaggeration, but a 2008 study proved her statement to be pretty much true. The study found that those who worked more than 55 hours a week had “lower scores in the vocabulary test … long working hours also predicted decline in performance on the reasoning test.” Scientists hypothesize that the reason for this may be that long hours cause both “psychological stress and poor recovery” from that stress. This in turn affects the executive function within the brain and memory, attention, and the rate at which information can be processed is hindered.
7. Working till late makes you sick
If you spend more than 8 or 9 hours at work, you are tend to fall ill very frequently. People who work compulsively and excessively are more likely to use up sick days than those who check out when their shift ends. Overtime can lead to increased strain on your body and mind, finds the research—low back pain and mental health issues were the two main reasons workers called off. Your best bet: Take a break before you get ill and you’ll come back fully charged.
8. Working late hours lead to chronic insomnia
Not only do long hours interfere with the necessary amount of sleep one needs to function properly, but if your brain is constantly thinking about your job, then it never really rests. It is too harmful as your brain and body parts need proper restoration after a hectic day at work. Any disturbances in that cycle may lead to sleep deprivation. Hence, chronic insomnia. In 2007, Sylvia Ann Hewlett published a piece in the Harvard Business Review about the negative effects that come with being an “extreme worker,” and ongoing issues with insomnia was on that list.
9. Your reflection worsens as you work more
Your facial luster depletes as you vest much of your time in front of a computer. You deprive yourself from eating a nutritional balanced diet, which hampers your face and body too. Secondly, your nightmarish job could be what’s keeping you from drifting into dreamland. Work is the main cause of sleep disturbances, according to a recent study published in the journal SLEEP. A separate study from Japan also found that workaholics take longer to fall asleep at night, possibly because they continue stewing over their to-do lists before finally nodding off. And mulling over work-related issues ‘round the clock also kept them in a state of constant fatigue. Thirdly, Stress. The name itself causes your appearance and overall health, dull. So, all these factors actually make a person look dull and sick.
10. Prolonged working hours causes stress and depression
Working long hours can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which of course takes its toll on both the body and brain. When the body is inundated with too much cortisol, the way it’s supposed to function goes off course. Glucose in the bloodstream goes up, the immune system gets confused, and growth process in the body is thrown out of whack. This can lead to a wide variety of health problems like depression and anxiety, but also even bigger ones like heart disease. According to the World Heath Organization, America is the most stressed out country.
A 2012 study found that those who worked 11 hours a day or more were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from depression, than those who only had an eight-hour day. These findings remained the same even after researchers looked into other factors such as addiction issues, job strain, and persistent illnesses.
11. Over-timing at work crumbles your personal relationships
Your work life might be sinking your real life. Couples who struggle to strike a balance between work and home are more likely to break up than those who are able to separate the two, a study in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Therapy found. Pairs who let office matters over into their personal lives were more likely to experience “displaced aggression,” where the overflow of issues causes them to snap at the wrong person at the wrong time—like your kids when you get home, or the intern after a rough commute to work. So handle conflicts in their own domain: Resolve work at the office, and manage your relationship woes at home.
12. Your job is a threat to your neck
That uncomfortable crick could become chronic. Workers who logged more than 41 hours a week were more likely to report neck pain than those worked less, finds a new study from University of California at Irvine.
Blame your computer for some of that pain. Here’s a quick fix: Adjust the top of your monitor to just below eye level. Position it there and you’ll keep your spine in line and ward off a twinge in your neck.
13. Working till late stucks you to the seat
Take a look at the clock: How long has it been since you actually pried your butt off your chair? Regardless of how much you exercise, the more time you spend sitting during the day, the greater your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, or cancer—or of dying early. So if you need to spend those extra hours in the office, at least make sure you’re not staying planted the whole time. You need to set a reminder on your smart watch or phones to remind you for a walk. Studies show swapping at least 2.5 hours of sitting time for standing can burn 40 percent more calories—up to 350 in 2 hours.
14. Workers spend more time on their cellphones
“Technologies are supposed to facilitate our life and make us more flexible,” says study author Svenja Schlachter, Ph.D. (c). But being available to the people on the other end of the phone line—versus those right in front of you—causes pressure to mount even more. It also doesn’t give your brain the time it needs to reboot, leading to insufficient recovery, sleep problems, and tension in your relationships, says Schlachter. So stop letting work third-wheel your family dinners. Reserve time, or certain spaces, to be phone-free. If you habitually check your inbox, your coworkers may come to expect it. And that can result in longer work hours, less sleep, increased stress, and imbalance between work-home lives, the research noted.
A general guideline for your wellbeing
The available research shows that most workers in the U.S. already are working close to the point where problems can start to occur. Despite how pervasive the managerial idea still is that working employees harder always translates to a better bottom line, science says that your company isn’t going to gain much, if anything, if you put in much more than an extra hour or two a day. Don’t work more than 50 hours if you value your health, happiness, and connections to others.