Working for long hours increases cancer, heart risks in Women

Working for long hours increases cancer, heart risks in Women

Women who work for long hours at desks for more than 40 hours a week could increase their risks of diabetes, arthritis, cancer and heart diseases, according to a new study conducted by The Ohio State University.

Women these days have huge expectations on their promotions and pay rise, but expanding your work hours and increasing them to beyond 40 a week or escalating them to 50 hours a week could increase your risks of going to early grave.

The risks in women begin when the work hours mount to 40 hours a week for 30 years, and the situation escalates when they work for more than 50 hours a week. Women who work for 50 hours a week at desks triple the risks of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Allard Dembe, professor of health services management and policy, and lead author of the study says, “Women who have to juggle multiple roles feel the effects of intensive work experiences and that can set the table for a variety of illnesses and disability.”
Surprisingly, this does not seem the case in Men. Men who are working for 41-50 hours a week shockingly had reduced risks of heart disease, lung disease and depression than those Men who worked for 40 hours or fewer.

Several studies have earlier found that Overwork is linked to stress, sleep and digestive problems, but this is the first study to have found association between long work hours and life threatening illness.

“People don’t think that much about how their early work experiences affect them. But women in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are setting themselves up for problems in later phases of life,” Dember added.

The researchers have considered and analyzed almost 7,500 people who were part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Since, women take much of the responsibility of household works and juggle between work and house duties, they face more stress and pressure compared to the men. Adding to it, women find their work roles less satisfying as they need to balance work pressure as well as the family obligations.

Mr. Dembe added that employers and government regulators should be aware of these risk factors, especially when women are made to work more than 40-hour per week. Employers or companies benefit when only their workers are healthier and provide quality work.

This study is published online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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