The findings point out that the current length of the average workday is slowly taking a toll on the health of many individuals exposing them to conditions such as stroke and high blood pressure, and heart related complications. In their report, researchers recommend a 39 hours’ work week instead of the current 40.
The research combined and compared data from 8,000 Australian adults as part of Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia survey.
Last year, a 24-year-old Japanese woman committed suicide after working 105 hours in overtime in a month. The death sparked a fierce debate on how long working hours should be.
“Long work hours erode a person’s mental and physical health because it leaves less time to eat well and look after themselves properly,” says Huong Dinh, the Lead researcher from the ANU Research School of Population Health.
In an interview with Fox News, Dr. Samadi, TV celebrity doctor and Chief of Robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital dispels the notion that the longer one works, the more effective their work is.
Women have been linked to a higher risk of developing cardiac-related complications. According to the report, women should work for 34 hours every week to give them ample time to handle other commitments such as domestic chores. On the other hand, men can work for up to 47 hours a week.
In the interview, Dr. Samadi also points out to a study done 2 years ago in Lancet. In the study, researchers found a link between an increased incidence of developing stroke, depression, cognitive issues and cardiac issues in individuals who work more than 55 hours a week. This, when calculated, equals to about 11 hours a day-a 3-hour increase from a normal 40-hour work week.
Increasing your workload by 3 hours a day causes an increase in the risk of cardiac arrest by 60%. One is also most likely to develop Stroke by 33%.
The major reason that has been sighted for the increased risk is the continuous state of rest of the body. Most individuals have desk jobs which force workers to sit for up to 6 hours at a time.
This continuous state of rest reduced the body’s reaction to insulin. This leads to an increased risk of diabetes and high cholesterol levels. Bad LDL cholesterol can cause clogging in blood vessels forcing them to contract. In turn, the contracted blood vessels lead to high blood pressure and other cardiac-related complications.
“To reduce this risk, increasing mobility is key. Constant physical movement will ensure you maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of developing stroke. Ensure you walk around the office or even just stand for a few minutes every hour” Dr. Samadi advises. “Have a bottle of water with you every day and a healthy snack at hand to ensure the body remains active and hydrated.”
To further reduce the risk, look to increase your workout regimen by 30 minutes to help burn excess fat and clear blood vessels.