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Working Overtime Can Cause Heart Problems

Working Overtime? So Is Your Heart

Been putting in lots of overtime lately? Turns out, killing yourself at work really is bad for your health. A new British study has found that working three to four hours of overtime a day puts you at a 60 percent higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

Anyone who’s ever worked overtime — and who hasn’t? — probably doesn’t think these findings are all that surprising. At a previous job where I was regularly putting in 70-hour weeks, I definitely noticed the toll it was taking on my health. But researchers aren’t entirely sure why there’s such a strong link between overtime and heart problems specifically. They do have a few theories, though — read them after the jump.

  • People who work overtime tend to have type-A personalities, which means they’re tense, aggressive, and competitive — none of which are great for your heart.
  • Working extremely long hours can cause depression, which in turn increases your risk of heart disease.
  • Workers who stay late at the office often don’t get enough sleep, or don’t have enough time to unwind before hitting the hay.

Do these findings make you want to clear your schedule and call it a day early, or is the workaholic in you brushing them off?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
We don't get overtime and even if it were offered, I'm not a workaholic. I like to get my work done by the end of my shift so I can go home!
bingbingboom bingbingboom 7 years
Isn't 50 hours week the norm these days? I feel like working 9-10 hours per day doesn't even feel like OT to us/
Frenched Frenched 7 years
OT can definitely be brutal, that's why I prefer scheduling it during my weekends. Not only is the vibe in the office more relaxed; I think you're just a bit more productive, too. How productive can you be when you've already put in a full workday and you're aching to be at home? I'd much prefer to put in a couple of hours on a Saturday and get to go home and unwind during the workweek.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
That is exactly what I was going to say, chloe bella. The other year I was working 60-80 hour weeks doing Customer Support for my company when we were understaffed during the holiday season. Most breakfasts consisted of an energy drink (which I'd try to nurse throughout the day, for as long as I could) and some sort of breakfast bar, lunch was whatever I could walk to get (the easiest being sushi, which wasn't too bad, or pasta) and dinner was... whatever the team leads offered us to thank us for working so hard (thai, mexican or pizza). I think the only thing that kept me from gaining a ton of weight was that I was bussing to work at the time and I usually had to walk to the nearby mall to get food, so I was at least getting a few block's worth of walking at a fast pace every day... which is more than I can say now!
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I work long hours every day, as does everyone else in my office. Such is the life of a defense attorney. However, as to why people who work long hours have poor health, I think there are more obvious reasons: lack of exercise and the tendency to eat whatever junk food is available in your office and/or from the nearest restaurant.
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
That's a little scary since I work a regular 50-hour week. I can relate to not getting enough sleep but that's not my job's fault so I guess it's not so bad for me.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i sometimes work OT when we're busy on something specific and i agree, it sucks not having time to adequately wind down before you go to bed so now that things have calmed down again, i refuse to work late unless it's need to stress out over something that can be done the next morning
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
I would like to clear my schedule every stinking day if I could.
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