Long Working Hours and Stress Leads to Depression

Women who clock 55 working hours or more every week are at the high risk of depression. Working on the weekend can increase depression risks among men and women. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health claims that excessive working hours could deteriorate mental health.  

The team drew conclusions basis data from Understanding Society, the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS). The UKHLS tracks health of people in the U.K. For this study, they analyzed data from over 23,000 men and women that also recorded their nature of employment. 

The researchers find that the worst mental health was among women who worked 55 hours including weekend. On the other hand, people who worked for 35-40 hours a week showed better mental health status.

Mental Health Depends on Work Habits

The team of scientists also studied the differences between women and men in their workplace. They found that women need long working hours while working in a male-dominated field. Additionally, the team observed that people working on weekends especially in the service sector work on low pay.

Further, they observed that women face double burden as they complete household duties. This is unpaid work, which increases the workload on women.

However, factors that affect mental health including the age of workers and smoking are at high risk of depression. The signs of depression may include feelings of hopelessness and guilt, persistent sadness, low interests in hobbies, and sleeping problems.

Effect of Work Stress

Working for a long period or working over weekend increases the work stress leads to trigger possibilities of depression. The team did not claim any cause for this, though. However, they said they would try to encourage employers to impose new workplace policies to reduce stress. 

The author claimed that previous studies found that its women’s duty of doing unpaid housework and family care. However, the burden on women has a link to their poorer physical health.

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