Working long hours depresses, according to a study published last year in the journal ‘PLoS ONE’. It was already known that working a lot produces psychological and sleep disorders, as well as loss of cognitive functions and anxiety, but to these things must also add to the depression.
After analyzing the working conditions of 2,000 people in Great Britain, aged between 35 and 55, the study authors concluded that working 11 hours or more it doubles the possibility of having a episode of major depression.
In an interview, Marianna Virtanen, director of the research team, explained: “We followed the evolution of these workers through interviews for about six years and the results are clear. Those who had workdays of 11 hours or more or who worked overtime, in total 16% of the people analyzed, they had a ratio of possibilities between 2.3 and 2.5 greater to develop depressive episodes.
In addition, the study made a robot portrait of people most at risk of falling into a major depression due to overwork: Married or living together, who hold a high responsibility or high pressure position and moderate alcohol consumption.
For my part, I think that if they exploited you by making you work in excess or you are the people who dedicate practically all of your life to work as a source of your only satisfactions, you have a serious problem. Unfortunately, under the current conditions, with the degradation of working conditions and increased pressure, we are not in the best position to improve mental health.
Working can even be fun, if we are sincerely interested in it. But without obsessing with work or making more money based on overtime, which can be very problematic for health.
It is difficult in this society to live in a really healthy way. The portrait they show in the research could be applied to a large number of workers. The economic needs, sometimes the pressure to succeed or an unhealthy passion for work, show that they can have bad consequences.
I think that aside from work, it is also important to relax, play and relate to family and friends. Or engage in a pleasant and stress-free hobby.
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