In a recent study, researchers found that Americans work over 130 hours more each year than a host of other developed nations. While hard work is a great way to get ahead, there is a fine line between working hard and overworking.
For most business owners and human resource professionals, finding the right work/life balance is an ongoing struggle. While you want your employees to be productive, the last thing you want is to put their health in jeopardy by making a brutal employee schedule for them to follow.
Most American workers brag about just how many hours they work without thinking about the effect it is having on their life. Read below to find out more about how the long-hours culture is slowly killing American workers.
Working Too Much Impairs Your Sleep
A number of studies have shown just how detrimental working too hard can be on your sleep. Often times, these sleep related issues will be caused by things like an increased amount of work stress or the inability to unwind after a long day at the office. This lack of quality rest is often referred to as sleep debt.
Having chronic sleep debt can lead to a host of serious health problems like diabetes or even heart disease. The hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for the creation and consolidation of memories can also be affected by low-quality sleep. The Wall Street Journal published a report that states only about 3 percent of the American population can function on less than six hours of sleep each night. This is why you need to focus on getting off of work on time and in bed at a reasonable hour each day.Having chronic sleep debt can lead to a host of serious health problems like diabetes or even heart disease. Click To Tweet
Good Habits Get Thrown Out the Window When You Are Overworked
If you work too much, you will be putting a real toll on both your body and your brain. Usually, the higher the level of stress you have in your life, the harder it will be for you to find time to exercise and eat healthy. Often times, people rely on copious amounts of caffeine when trying to stay awake and work. This is very bad for both your mental and physical well-being.
Running around trying to get work done will also lead to you eating more junk food. Most people claim this habit of eating junk food is mostly caused by a lack of time to cook healthy meals. The more junk a person puts in their body, the higher their risk will become for conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
Overworking is Bad For Your Heart
In a study of over 22,000 people, researchers found that people who worked longer hours were 40 percent more likely to contract heart disease. Increased levels of stress and unhealthy habits are often some of the main culprits that lead to heart disease. Many researchers believe that personality types have a lot to do with the tendency to overwork.
Most Type A personalities are extremely competitive and task-oriented. This personality types are also far more likely to overwork in an attempt to get ahead and reach their goals. Since this group overworks on a consistent basis, they are far more likely to have serious heart health issues as a result.Most Type A personalities are extremely competitive and task-oriented. This personality types are also far more likely to overwork in an attempt to get ahead and reach their goals. Click To Tweet
Working Too Much Can Lead to More Alcohol Consumption
While there is nothing wrong with going out and having a few adult beverages, there is definitely an alcohol consumption threshold you need to avoid crossing. People who work more than 48 hours a week are at the highest risk of engaging in risky alcohol use. This risky alcohol use is generally defined as consuming more than 21 alcoholic beverages in a week.
This increased alcohol consumption is generally a response to increase stress and pressure at work. This is why creating a work-life balance is so important when trying to remain healthy. Creating a divide between home life and work life can help you minimize stress and increase productivity.
Overworking Is Also Bad For Business
Some human resource professionals think that the more hours employees work, the higher their productivity levels will ultimately be. Research suggests that employees who are overworked are actually less productive than workers who are working 40 hours a week or less.
Also, overworked employees have a higher risk of making mistakes during their daily tasks. Not only is this bad for the employee making the mistakes, it can lead to a business losing a lot of business as well. Rather than making employees burn the candle at both ends, business owners and human resource professionals need to find a happy medium in regards to scheduling.Research suggests that employees who are overworked are actually less productive than workers who are working 40 hours a week or less. Click To Tweet
Signs You May Be Overworked
One of the first things most employees want to know is how to tell if they are overworked. There are a number of signs a worker may notice when it is time to take a bit of a break. If you start to notice that you are constantly tired and lack the energy to get through your day, chances are you are suffering from chronic fatigue. Among the most common causes for this condition is being overworked. Others signs that you are overworked include loss of appetite and even insomnia.
The longer an individual waits to address issues with overworking, the harder they will find it to avoid serious health problems. Business owners will need to work with their employees to figure out how to create a mutually beneficial schedule.
About the author:
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.