Important Message from The Joint Chiropractic regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) - Read More

How Long Hours Affect Our Lives

By Sandy Schroeder

Many of us have worked long hours when we had to.  Sometimes the company really needed to get a lot of work done quickly, or we needed the extra money. I have done two- to three-week stints of long hours many times, and always been relieved to stop. The longer I worked extra hours the worse life became 

The rest of my life was just set aside. I became irritable and exhausted. There was simply no time to just stop and relax. If I wasn't working at work there were tasks at home to do. Life became a complete grind. I cannot imagine how bad it must feel for people who work long hours on a regular basis. 

On the other hand, I know people who thrive on long hours. They have the energy and their efforts are often nicely rewarded.  Sometimes it advances their careers. Other times they just sock away the extra cash.  Some how they manage to pull it off, although I wonder how that works out in the long run. 

The Bigger Picture 

There may be more to the story. If we look closely at the long-hour picture, health often takes a major hit. 

WHO, the World Health Organization and International Labor Organization recently said, "Putting in long hours at work isn't just emotionally and physically draining; it can be deadly." 

After completing the first global study of its kind, WHO found 488 million people around the world work 55 or more hours per week. 

Here Are the Results 

In comparisons with people who worked a normal 40 hour work week, this is what happened to the workers working long hours 

  • 35 percent had a higher risk of stroke 
  • 17 percent had a higher risk of heart disease 
  • An estimated 745,194 deaths occurred from stroke and heart disease 

WHO says the impact with work-related disability and early death may become even worse as we seek to get back to normal in the aftermath of the pandemic. If you worked long hours during the pandemic, or are considering working extra hours now it may be important to ask some questions. 

  • Are the benefits worth the losses? 
  • Can you see differences in your health? 
  • Are you putting everything else aside? 
  • How long can you maintain the overload?

We are all individuals with all sorts of responsibilities and commitments. What seems normal for one may be way too much for another. If you wind up working long hours, or are just considering the idea, you might do a trial run for a month and then do a serious evaluation. 

Take an honest look at what the month has brought, or what it may have taken away. Then do what's best for you, your family and your heath. 

If long hours are a necessity, consider bringing in extra help, setting up backup teams or reserving time for some long recovery weekends. Make a realistic plan for hours needed with a start and stop date. Then stick to it and do whatever is needed to re-establish a normal working routine. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Irvine, Calif.

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