Do you enjoy working long hours or do you have to? Either way, if you spend 55 hours per week or more at the office you’re increasing your stroke risk by about 33 percent (33%).
A team of researchers from various European countries looked at over half a million subjects, both men and women, from across the planet and saw that people who work long hours are more likely to experience strokes, when compared to those who only worked 35 to 40 hours each week.
The data was collected from subjects living in eight (8) different European countries, the United States, Australia and Israel. They informed the researchers on how many hours they spend at the office each week, and the researchers then tracked them for several years after that.
All of the 528.908 were stroke-free when the study started, but over the next seven (7) years, 1.722 of them experienced a stroke. And the pattern that the research team was able to find was that the more hours subjects spent working, the more chances they had of experiencing a stroke.
When the experts compared people who worked 41 to 48 hours each week to people who only worked 35 to 40 hours each week, they saw that people in the former group were 10 percent (10%) more likely to experience a stroke.
And when they compared people who worked 49 to 54 hours each week to people who only worked 35 to 40 hours each week, they saw that the results were even worse. The people in the former group were 27 percent (27%) more likely to experience a stroke.
As for the people worked 55 hours or more each week, they were 33 percent (33%) more likely to experience a stroke, when compared to people who only worked 35 to 40 hours each week.
The results were the same for both men and women, as well as for all of the countries in the study. And they stayed the same even after the research team took into account control factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption, smoking history and body mass index (BDI).
On top of this, the research team also examined a group of 603.838 workers who had no history of heart disease. They tracked these subjects for about 8.5 years.
More than half of them (4.768 subjects) experienced either a heart attack or some other coronary event over the course of the study. When compared to people who only worked 35 to 40 hours each week, those who worked 55 hours or more each week were 13 percent (13%) more likely to experience a heart-related problem.
While spending more hours at work doesn’t necessarily affect your health in and of its own, the researchers have theorized that people who work long hours may experience more health issues because they don’t get enough physical exercise.
And many previous studies support this theory. Field experts have proven that prolonged sitting can lead to the development of everything from obesity and type 2 diabetes, to heart disease, to certain types of cancer.
Another possible reason is that people who work long hours may also drink more alcohol, whereas heavy drinking is a well established risk factor for stroke.
The findings were published earlier this week, on Wednesday (August 19, 2015), in the medical journal The Lancet.
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