7 negative effects of working overtime
If you’ve been working nine hours a day on most days, or more than 48 hours a week, you are working overtime by most definitions.
If you’re currently employed, it might be a good idea to calculate your total working hours in a week before you read further. Now, if you’ve been working nine hours a day on most days, or more than 48 hours a week, you are working overtime by most definitions. Be ready to face some of the consequences - not only health-related but personal and social too.
1. You might get less time for sleep and feel fatigued
Sleep is essential to function properly. Studies show that deep sleep can rewire the brain to be less stressed and anxious. When you work for long hours, it’s likely that it will squeeze your sleep time a bit. Even after going to bed, you might face difficulty falling asleep. The result? You’re crankier and more tired than usual the next morning.
2. You might find comfort in alcohol
A study conducted in 2015 found that people who work 49-54 hours a week are more likely to consume excessive amounts of alcohol - excessive is defined as more than 14 units of alcohol a week for women and 21 for men. As we all know, this puts us at risk of liver-related issues and type 2 diabetes.
3. Your back and shoulders might ache
Sitting for long hours, that too without regular breaks, might make your boss happy but not to your back. In today's time, it is one of the most common issues faced by employees. The longer you sit in your office chair, the greater is the risk of back pain. Researchers say women tend to develop pain in the neck first whereas men usually experience lower back pain.
4. Your heart might be at risk
A study published in The Lancet says employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours. It is speculated by researchers that working for 61 to 70 hours a week leads to a 42% increased risk for coronary artery disease. Moreover, if you stretch it to 71 to 80 hours, the risk increases by 63%.
5. Stress might dominate your life
Who doesn't know what stress can do to you? It’s bad enough by itself but it is also a common culprit for several diseases, the big ones being diabetes, depression, strokes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
6. Your productivity might decrease over time
“Do smart work, not hard work.” If you work long hours without visible results, you might feel burdened and your productivity might even decrease with time. A paper published by Stanford University showed that people who work for 70 hours a week don't actually turn out to be more productive than colleagues who work 56 hours a week.
7. Your relationships might suffer
If you spend most of your day at the workplace, family and friends could feel deprived of your presence, love and affection. And often work-related frustration can come out on loved ones, making relationships strained.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Stress: Types, Stages, Prevention.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
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