Overtime bad for your health?

overtimeI recently came across an article in the Times titled ‘Too much overtime is bad for your health’. According to the article, studies suggest that those who regularly work a nine or ten hour day are more likely to suffer from heart-related illness – well surely that’s pretty much all of us?!

We’ve all been sitting at our desks well into the evening trying to finish bits and pieces and plenty of people work well over seven hours every day whether it be in the office, or at home . Does this mean they are destined for health problems? Possibly they are but there are plenty of other activities that we undertake that are equally as bad – smoking, drinking and even eating that can also contribute to heart – related illness.

This got me thinking – was this just another study undertaken by health professionals attempting to scaremonger us or should organisations take note of this and encourage their employees to not do overtime or if they do, in moderation?

Let’s look at the recruitment sector where a typical consultant works from 8am-6pm – that’s already a nine hour day (if we suppose that people actually take a full lunch break these days!) before any overtime is started! Going by this study all recruiters are faced with the prospect of health issues! I tend to believe that we simply cannot go about life worrying about every snappy headline we see telling us that something we are doing in life is going to result in future health issues – if we did our lives would be somewhat nonexistent!

I for one am not about to demand from my employer that I never work longer than a seven hour day and I suspect most organisations will take this study with a pinch of salt!

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