Some jobs require that their employees put in overtime, others highly “suggest” it, and some people just do it to make some extra cash. But studies have shown that working overtime might actually be doing you more harm than good when it comes to your health and well being.
There has actually been a ton of research on this topic, with more than 25 big studies on over half a million adults in various countries. Across the board they determine that working excess hours has truly detrimental effects on health.
Think about these statistics…upping your work hours from 35 to 40 hours to 41 to 48 hours raises your risk of having a stroke 10 percent. The risk raises to 27 percent when you work 59 to 54 hours, and 33 percent if you’re working 55 hours a week.
There are a lot of potential reasons why overtime can be so hurtful. For one thing jobs that require a lot of overtime tend to be pretty stressful jobs in general, and you’re spending most of your time there. For another thing the more time you’re spending working the less time you have for spending with people who love, relaxing, and working out. All of those things that are necessary for mental and physical well being.
In addition to not having as much time to workout, being at a desk job on hours on end means that you’re sitting a ton…which is also bad for you. People who sit all day at work are at higher risks for a ton of health problems compared to people who don’t, even if they still fit exercise into their day. So while going to the gym is going to super great for you after a long day of work, it can’t completely make up for the sedentary hours you sat while you were there.
Some studies have found that the more hours people work the more conflicts they report with their family. The divorce rate climbs, and the more people work overtime the more likely they are to turn to tobacco and alcohol.
Depending on the job it can also be physically dangerous to work extra long hours, and productivity drops after a certain amount of time no matter what the job is. When people work 60 hours in a week their productivity drops by as much 25 percent…meaning they would be better off working fewer hours with a more productive mindset.
The more people work the fewer hours they get quality sleep which of course can also affect productivity, health, and emotional well being. And trying to make up for missed sleep on the weekends isn’t necessarily going to help either. Some studies have found that when people sleep different hours on the weekend it can make their body react like it’s in a type of jet lag. That means when Monday comes around you might feel even more groggy than on Friday.
People who work 11 hours a day have a much higher rate of depression than people who only work 7 or 8 hours a day, so keep that in mind when you’re comparing job options in your future.