Chris Temelkos Writes About Work and Health – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Chris Temelkos - June 20, 2010

By Chris Temelkos

If you’re putting extra hours in at work to impress your boss, you may want to think twice. A study published in the European Heart Journal found that employees who regularly put in 11-12 hour days increase their risk of a heart attack by 60%, compared with those who work 7-8 hours. However, the hours themselves are not to blame, rather the stress and demands felt by putting those extra hours in.

The study followed full-time civil servants aged 39-69 between 1991 and 2004, 4,262 were men and 1,752 were women. Throughout the study 369 of the workers had heart attacks or developed angina, of those workers 54% did not work overtime, 21% worked an extra hour, 15% worked an extra two hours and 10% put three or more hours in of overtime. The risk of a heart attack was 56% greater for those who worked overtime and those who worked only a couple of extra hours saw an increased risk of 21% while putting in an additional hour had no effect.

Having control over our work, regardless of hours, can reduce the risk of a heart attack. Do as much as you can, to keep your work under control and take a break, there’s always tomorrow.


Globe and Mail


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