Hopefully you didn’t work TOO long and hard this week, because it can have some serious effects on your health. Here are five things that can happen to you if you work more than 40 hours per week.
1. Your risk of having a stroke or heart attack goes up. According to a 2021 study by the World Health Organization, working more than 55 hours per week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared with working 35 to 40 hours a week.
2. Your risk of getting injured on the job goes up. A study found working at least 12 hours per day was associated with a 37% increased hazard rate. So you’re MUCH more likely to hurt yourself if you work a super long day.
3. Your mental health worsens. A 2020 study found that longer hours was connected to higher levels of stress, depression, and even suicidal ideation.
4. Your sleep AND work suffers. Multiple studies have found that when you get less than six hours of sleep a night, you get more distracted, anxious, and irritable, and become more susceptible to impulsively taking bigger risks.
5. You stop being good at your job. A five-year survey of 5,000 employees and managers across several different industries found that working between 30 and 50 hours can improve someone’s performance.
But if they work more than 50 hours, their job performance starts to plateau. And if they work more than 65 hours a week, their performance sharply drops off.