By Nancy Corrales
A heavy workload will find a way to sneak into your personal life. Studies show long work hours are connected to life-threatening illnesses. A study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found women are at a higher risk of heart disease and cancer.
Women working 40-60 hours a week should consider the long-term health risks associated with their heavy load. This study affects women on a larger scale. Most women also control household responsibilities. Women, ages 20-40, are working above average work hours are setting themselves up for health problems later in life.
Balancing work demands and family obligations can cause a woman to have more pressure and stress than a man. “Employers and government regulators should be aware of the risks, especially to women who are required to regularly toil beyond a 40-hour work week. “More scheduling flexibility and on-the-job health coaching, screening and support could go a long way toward reducing the chances employees become sick or die as a result of chronic conditions”, Dembe said.
The research analyzed the connection work life has on causing serious illnesses for a period of 32 years. This study used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, which includes 12,000 plus Americans born between 1957 and 1964. The average hours that a person is working nowadays is in connection with eight chronic diseases.
The results were also examined by gender. Dembe and his collaborator, Mayo Clinic researcher and former Ohio State doctoral student Xiaoxi Yao, conclude that the results among female workers were striking. “The early onset and identification of chronic diseases may not only reduce individuals’ life expectancy and quality of life, but also increase health care costs in the long term,”Dembe and Yao wrote.