15:54 12 September 2012
New research states that those people who work more than the average amount are more likely to suffer heart-related problems. Spending too much time at work can mean there is a staggering 80per cent greater health risk to the heart.
Researchers are saying that longer hours are pushing thousands of workers towards the risk of having a heart attacks or stroke. The UK, which is renowned for having long working hours, has an average working week of 42.7 hours, only Austria and Greece top this.
Major research has analysed 12 studies, which date as far back as the late 1950s, where it is understood around 22,000 people worldwide took part.
Scientists from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health discovered there was a 40 to 80per cent more likely chance of contracting heart disease for someone whose working days were longer than the norm.
Doctor Marianna Virtanen, the lead researcher, has attributed these findings to the fact that there is a greater chance of stress impacting a worker, but also that diet and exercise cannot be rules out.
Dr. Virtanen said, as reported by the Mail Online: “There are several potential mechanisms that may underlie the association between long working hours and heart disease.”
Some workers who put in over 55 hours a week were reducing the efficiency of their brain function and that this could be reflected through IQ tests – in particular middle-aged employees scored lower for intelligence and aspects of memory, according to the Mail Online.
As a nation, it is thought that many workers eat at their desks and do not fully take allotted break times, which can lead to tiredness and a lack in physical exercise.
Reportedly the amount of UK people working extra hours for free each year is in the millions bracket.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
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