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This Common Work Habit Can Dramatically Increase Your Chance of Death 

A new WHO study claims nearly 750,000 people died from doing this.

"Don't work yourself to death," is a common chide at the office. However, there may be some truth to it, according to a massive new study conducted by the World Health Organization. The group discovered that one common work habit is responsible for the deaths of nearly 750,000 people globally. Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor.


Working Long Hours Is Killing Hundreds of Thousands of People

Businessman working overtime in office.

In the new global study conducted by the WHO and published in the journal Environment International, working long hours is literally killing hundreds of thousands of people per year. In fact, in 2016, 745,000 people died—398,000 from stroke and 347,000 from heart disease due—to long hours at the office. The increase of deaths since 2000 is a whopping 29 percent. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease due to working long hours increased by 42%, and from stroke by 19%.

"Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard," Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, at the World Health Organization, said in a press release. "It's time that we all, governments, employers, and employees, wake up to the fact that long working hours can lead to premature death."


Most of Them Are Male

Asian Businessman standing near the window and having chest pain.

Men are bearing most of the burden, with 72 percent of the deaths occurring in males. Additionally, people living in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions, and middle-aged or older workers are also more likely to die due to their work habits. 


It Could Kill You Later

Grey haired man touching chest, feeling pain at home, mature woman supporting him.

Another alarming fact is that working long hours may have a delayed impact on your health. They maintain that the majority of the deaths were among people aged 60-79 years, who had worked for 55 hours or more per week between the ages of 45 and 74 years.

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts


How Many Work Hours Are Too Many?

Businessman looking at his watch in office.

So, how many work hours can be critically hazardous for your health? According to their findings, working 55 or more hours per week increases your chance of stroke by 35 percent and ischemic heart disease by 17 percent compared to working a normal 35-40 hour week. 

They also found that about 9 percent of the world population is working long hours, and are worried that the global health crisis is motivating people to work even more.  

RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.


The Pandemic Made Things Even Worse

Beautiful dark skinned businesswoman with casual hairstyle working on her laptop, looking at screen with concentrated face and touching chin with hand

"The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way many people work," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "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. No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease. Governments, employers and workers need to work together to agree on limits to protect the health of workers." As for yourself— to protect your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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