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Is Your Job Killing You?

Originally posted: April 5, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

We’ve all heard the employees that say their job is killing them.  Well, some of them may be right.

In a study released yesterday, researchers from the University of London stated findings that, “working more than 11 hours a day increased the risk of heart disease by 67 percent, compared with working a standard 7 to 8 hours a day.” Their findings show that your time at work in addition to other heart disease risk factors like smoking or high blood pressure can all play a role in your vulnerability for heart disease.

Here in the U.S. where we’ve cut jobs due to economic factors, we have more employees working longer hours.  Over time, we could certainly see an increase in heart disease and other stress-related health complaints.  I spent the majority of my career in an environment where there was “expected overtime” for all exempt employees.  We tended to work as much as 500- 600 hours over the typical 2,080 hours per year.  That was our “normal”.  Luckily, I do not work in that environment now.  I have always put in more than 40 hours a week  (on average) though.

How are things where you work?  Are you finding yourself working more hours than several years ago?  Do you find it makes a difference if you are an exempt or non-exempt employee?  What health effects has it had?

Employees who work long hours are often a result of the organization’s culture.  The real issue becomes how to push back and not work those hours if that is the norm for the company or the department.



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