Long Hours At Work Could Damage Your Health

05/04/2011 10:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

In these times of cutbacks and financial insecurity you couldn't blame anyone for trying to keep their jobs by staying at the office for nine, ten or even 11 hours at a stretch. But while working harder may make you feel as if you're doing everything you can to avoid being a victim of budget cuts, it may not be doing your health any good, say experts from University College London.

work-office-long-hoursWorking long hours can be bad for your heart. Photo: Corbis

Writing in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the public health experts claim working an 11-hour day rather than for eight hours could raise your risk of having a heart attack by two thirds.

The study involved more than 7,000 Whitehall civil servants over a period of 11 years. As well as working out the average number of hours they worked per day, the survey also asked about their health, including the condition of their hearts.

During the study period, more than 190 people had a heart attack. And by analysing all the study data, the researchers came to the conclusion that those who regularly worked more than 11 hours a day were 67% more likely to have a heart attack than the workers who worked from nine to five.

Though the study didn't attempt to find out exactly what it is about working long hours that increases your risk for a heart attack, it's generally thought that stress could be at least partly to blame. That's because having high levels of stress hormones in your system is believed to make you more susceptible to heart problems.

Have you been spending longer hours at work because you fear your job is at risk?

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