7 reasons why you should only work the hours you're meant to

Louis Dor
Thursday 20 August 2015 15:00

Recent trends show the number of hours we work a year on average is slightly on the rise.


While it may be tempting to put the hours in to get ahead, many studies associate longer hours with negative effects upon wellbeing and health.

The next time your boss asks you to stay late, show them this list:

1. You’re at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke

A new study has shown that people who work 55 hours or more a week are 33 per cent more at risk of a stroke and 13 per cent more at risk of coronary heart disease than those working standard hours (40 per week).

2. You’re more likely to consume risky levels of alcohol

A study published in the British Medical Journal in January linked long working hours to increased risky alcohol consumption.

3. You’re more likely to be depressed

Researchers have repeatedly concluded that long working hours increase risks of depression.

Research by the OECD in 2014 suggested a significant relationship between working hours and “potential years of life lost”, a measure of premature death.

It indicated a relationship between longer working hours and higher premature mortality.

5. Longer hours can also contribute to obesity

Demanding work schedules can be a contributing factor in obesity, a study found in 2012.

In addition, researchers on a similar paper at Monash University said that:

Extended work hours may reduce the time spent preparing home-cooked meals, exercising and sleeping, which are risk factors for obesity.

6. And you’re less likely to exercise

The same study of 9,276 women also found that 36 per cent of those who worked in excess of 35 hours did not engage in any physical activity.

All the more reason to clock off when you're supposed to.

7. To cap it all, you won't actually get more work done

A study from Stanford economist John Pencavel found that people who work 70 hours or more per week tend to get the same amount done as those who work 55.

More: The European workers who work the longest hours

More: Here's why it's pointless to work more than 50 hours a week