Consistent long hours linked to stroke risk

On Go Home on Time Day, a study shows a link between stroke risk and consistent longer working days.

Mental Health

 

Consistent long working hours increase your risk of having a stroke, according to a new study.

The French study of over 140,000 people comes on National Go Home on Time Day, which aims to promote greater work life balance.

It defined long working hours as more than 10 hours a day for at least 50 days a year. It excluded people who had had a stroke in the five years before the study was conducted or who had had a stroke before they started working long hours as well as people who worked part time. Other risk factors such as age, smoking history etc were taken into account.

It found a significant association between stroke and exposure to long working hours for 10 years or more.  While people who worked more than 10 hours for at least 50 days a year were around 29% more likely than average to have a stroke, those who had done so over a period of 10 years or more were at even greater risk, with a 45% higher chance of having a stroke. Younger people had a higher risk of stroke when exposed to long working hours for more than 10 years and owners, managers, chief executive officers, professionals and farmers had a lower risk.

The UK has the longest working hours in the European Union. Working Families and Bright Horizons is behind National Go Home on Time Day today. Their research shows that 60% of parents have to work extra hours to keep on top of their workload; almost half of parents (47%) say that work gets in the way of spending time with their children; and that 86% of parents want to work flexibly, but less than half (49%) actually do.

Jane van Zyl, CEO of Working Families, says: “More widespread, genuinely flexible, human-sized jobs will deliver benefits for both businesses and all workers. Working people who are burnt out and disengaged are not going to perform as well – which is bad for business, bad for the economy, and perhaps most crucially, bad for families.

“Go Home on Time Day is a chance for working people across the UK to unplug and spend time with loved ones.  And it’s an opportunity for employers to consider what improvements they can make to their workplace culture to support their employees’ wellbeing. Our aim is for going home on time to be the norm, not the exception.”



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