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.

Myupchar November 21, 2019 14:05:06 IST
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7 negative effects of working overtime

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.

7 negative effects of working overtime

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

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.

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