WHO says long work days are killing us, quite literally

The World Health Organisation has found that long working days are an insidious killer, that has only worsened over time.

A new report from the World Health Organisation has found that long working hours are increasing deaths from heart diseases and strokes, but you probably knew that already, hey.

A study created by the World Health Organisation has found that an estimated 398,000 and 347,000 people died from a stroke and heart disease respectively in 2016.

man upset at his computer
Image via Forbes

This is a whopping 29 per cent increase from 2000, coming as a result of having worked at 55 hours a week – well above the standard 35-40 hour week.

The study found that 72 per cent of victims were men, middle-aged or older. The countries most affected are those in the South East Asia and Pacific Regions namely China, Japan and Australia.

While the study only covered the period of 2000-2016, WHO officials have said that pandemic may have worsened conditions.

The WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that as the pandemic has blurred the lines between work and home – meaning people will inevitably end up working longer in more pressure-driven environments.

“…teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work. In addition, many businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down operations to save money, and people who are still on the payroll end up working longer hours,” he said.

The WHO estimates at least 9 per cent of people across the globe are causing damage to their health by working long hours.

Going forward, the WHO has recommended employers take immediate action by consulting with workers associations, and dividing hours among employees to ensure no one is overworked.