Working Overtime? You Could be Damaging Your Heart

by Jodee on May 17, 2010

If you have been thinking that spending too much time at work could be bad for your heart health, you may be right. The results of a study conducted on British civil servants indicate that working overtime can increase the risk of cardiac issues.

The results, which were published in the European Heart Journal, followed 10,000 people, found that the government workers who worked more than three hours longer than the standard seven-hour workday had a 60 percent higher risk of having a non-fatal heart attack or angina, or developing heart disease.

The reason working long hours and increased risk of heart disease are related may be due to increased stress involved in spending more time on the job. A person who puts in long hours at work may be a Type A personality. This type of person is already aggressive, highly competitive and impatient, and is probably a good candidate for heart problems. It makes sense that the risk of heart disease, heart attack and angina are linked to someone who puts in a lot of time on the job.

Chronic stress is not healthy for anyone, and working long hours, either to complete special projects or because workers have a higher workload due to cutbacks, leads to other habits that don’t promote good health.

Eating on the run may mean going for fast food over a healthier choice, and working long hours may mean that the employee is not getting enough sleep. Neither of these scenarios contribute to good heart health.

While some overtime may be required for certain positions, if a person finds they are expected to burn the midnight oil regularly, it may be a good idea to update the resume and start putting out feelers for another job. The idea of work/life balance is an important one, and it appears that it is essential for good health.

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