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Working 55+ hours a week killed 745,000 people a year

17-May-2021

Key points from article :

Long working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people a year, according to the WHO.

745,000 people died in 2016 from stroke and heart disease due to long hours.

People in South East Asia and the Western Pacific region were the most affected.

Working 55 hours or more a week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared with 35 to 40 hours.

Three quarters of those that died as a result of working long hours were middle-aged or older men.

Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the long hours were worked.

Longer working hours led to stress, and workers adopt health-harming behaviours.

In the UK, the ONS found that people working from home during the pandemic were putting in six hours of unpaid overtime a week.

People who did not work from home put in an average of 3.6 hours a week overtime.

Employers should take this into account when assessing the occupational health risks of their workers.

Working overtime, only to die early - long working hours may increase your risk of stroke & heart disease

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Institute

The UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.

Institute

Specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health