A new study shows that working too much increases the risk of suffering from a heart disease or a stroke. This is why most health experts recommend we find a balance between work and relaxation and we avoid spending too much time at our job.
The study involved monitoring about 603,838 people from Europe, Australia and the USA for about 8.5 years on average.
It was soon revealed that those who spend more than eight hours daily at work had a 13 percent higher risk of having a stroke than those whose working hours did not exceed 35 to 40 hours per week. Those who spent 49 to 54 hours at work had a 27 percent higher risk of stroke.
However, those who work more than 55 hours per week increase their chances to have a stroke by as much as 33 percent. The researchers also took into account various other factors such as sex, age, social and economic status. In order to do that, they reviewed over 25 studies.
“Health professionals should be aware that working long hours is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, and perhaps also coronary heart disease,” said Professor of Epidemiology Mika Kivimaki, from the University College, London.
Thus, it is believed that the stress associated with a long busy day at work can change the mechanisms in your body and lead to sudden death associated with a stroke or a heart attack.
One of the explanations also refers to the lack of physical activity associated with long working hours and the amount of stress people have to deal with at their jobs. Basically, the more hours a person worked, the higher their risk of developing such conditions was.
It is important for health experts to take these factors into account when reviewing the general health of a patient. In addition to that, people could start doing a few things to lower their risk of becoming ill as well. For instance, they could chose to spend less time in front of the computer or do some physical activity from time to time. They should also use their free time to relax and get some rest instead of being stressed out because of work.
Other studies have linked long hours of work to higher blood pressure and to women’s difficulty in getting pregnant.
“We should all consider how the working environment could be altered to promote healthy behavior that will reduce strokes, irrespective of how long we work,” said Dr. Tim Chico, who is a consultant cardiologist at the University of Sheffield.
The results of the study were published in the journal The Lancet.
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