June 20, 2008
News flash: Working overtime can make you anxious and depressed
Been burning the midnight oil lately? Then you may be at risk for anxiety or depression.
So says a Norwegian study published in the current issue of Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (though based on my own quasi-scientific experimentation with overtime work, I could have told you just as much).
According to the JOEM study, men who work 41 to 100 hours a week are 3.5 percent more likely to be depressed, and women who work overtime are 4 percent more likely. Even better, researchers found that "in both sexes, rates of possible anxiety and depression were higher among workers with lower incomes and for less-skilled workers."
But wait, there's more. An Australian study published this month revealed that job stress is the cause of one in six cases of depression. Exactly what constitutes job stress? "High job demands combined with low control over how the job gets done," say the Aussie researchers. In this heartening study, the researchers also learned that more women than men are afflicted with job stress and, again, that job stress is more prevalent in less-skilled workers.
So the next time your boss tries to get you to stay late, tell him or her it's a health hazard and go home.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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