Long working hours can lead to heart diseases, stroke
New Delhi : Companies asking their employees to work for long hours may be putting them to health risk, precisely to heart-related diseases or even strokes in some cases.
According to a study, people working for more than 55 hours a week have 35 percent more chances of suffering from a stroke, a 17 percent higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35-40 hours a week.
A study, by the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization, showed that in 2016, 398,000 people died from stroke and 347,000 from heart disease as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.
The findings from the study have been published in Environment International.
The new analysis comes at a time when most companies have offered work from home to people amid coronavirus pandemic and managing working hours is among the major concerns these days.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way many people work," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in a statement.
"Teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work. In addition, many businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down operations to save money, and people who are still on the payroll end up working longer hours. No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease. Governments, employers and workers need to work together to agree on limits to protect the health of workers," Ghebreyesus added.
Most of the deaths recorded were among people dying aged 60-79 years, who had worked for 55 hours or more per week between the ages of 45 and 74 years.
"Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard," said Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, at the World Health Organization.
"It's time that we all, governments, employers, and employees wake up to the fact that long working hours can lead to premature death," Neira said.