Health class 101: make sure to drink eight glasses of water a day. What, if, you decided to not drink water at all though? What if you stopped drinking it for an entire year? It sounds downright impossible and unimaginable, and something no health professional would ever suggest doing. Well it’s not only possible but […]
It turns out that working hard to get ahead may actually be the last thing you want to do if you are concerned about your health. According to research from NYU Langone Health, working more than 40 hours a week could be bad for your health. Long hours contribute to minor, chronic conditions that build up over time until they become potentially serious medical problems. A shorter work week, however, is connected with several benefits.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you have heard that stress is bad for you. Longer work weeks typically correlate with increased stress. Part of this is likely due to the fact that most people work longer hours during stressful times or because there is a great deal of work to be done at the office. That said, long hours also contribute to stress as you have less time to handle housework or run necessary errands. You also have less time for the relaxation that is necessary to counter inevitable daily stressors.
Sleep and exercise are the closest things to panaceas that exist in the world. Long hours can begin to interfere with both, but it is especially likely to hurt the amount of sleep you get at night. Longer hours tend to increase your stress which decreases your ability to get a good night’s rest. Also, many people postpone going to sleep when they work longer hours because they want to feel like they get more time to do things they enjoy. This lack of sleep, however, begins to affect their performance at work which requires them to work longer hours. This in turn cuts into their sleep more which worsens their performance thus forming a vicious cycle.
Long hours at work are not good for your body. Your body is built for walking long miles hunting antelope and gathering food not sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen. Long hours can cause eye strain from staring at screens, back and gluteal problems from sitting all day, cardiovascular issues, increased risk of blood clots and neck problems among other things. Shorter hours reduce those risks as well as make it more likely that you will eat healthy and exercise instead of going straight from work to bed or munching on snacks from the vending machine.
Shorter hours allow you to spend more time doing what makes your soul happy. If you have more time to yourself, you can explore creative outlets, focus on spiritual growth and spend more time with your loved ones than if you spend all day trapped in your office.
Working long hours is necessary sometimes, but try to avoid making it a habit. Your mind, body and soul will thank you, and that is worth more than a few extra dollars in your wallet.