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More work, more stess, increased depression


Hard work makes Jack a dull boy. And very likely a depressed one as well. For those people who work more than 11 hours a day, digging deeply into overtime, they are much more likely to experience a depressive episode than those working up to 8 hours a day. This study was published in the January issue of PLoS ONE, an online journal.

Researchers, led by Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London, tracked 2000 healthy middle aged British civil servants and found a significant relationship between overtime and depression. When the analysis was adjusted for other variables like socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, smoking, weight and work-related factors, the risk remained increased.

This is not the first study on the subject of work and stress. This is not even the first study on over time and stress. These researchers emphasized that it is hard to compare results across studies because the cut-off for overtime work has not been standardized between countries and regions.

“Although occasionally working overtime may have benefits for the individual and society, it is important to recognize that working excessive hours is also associated with an increased risk of major depression,” says Dr. Virtanen.

Considering the increased amount of hours worked as more and more people try to increase productivity while decreasing costs during the global recession, it may be a good time to step back and consider what the health cost will be for trying to get the most product out of the fewest people. Overtime costs more than dollars and cents.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, PLoS ONE

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