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Working More Than 11 Hours per Day Linked to Increased Risk of Depression

posted 12:00 AM EST, Mon January 30, 2012

Researchers in the UK found that people who worked more than 11 hours per day were about two and a half times more likely than those who worked a normal 8 hour day to develop clinical depression.

English researchers followed 2123 civil servants for just under 6 years, collected information about each subject’s work habits and lifestyle and assessed each subject for clinical depression.

They found that:

  • Subjects who worked 11 hours or more on an average day were between 2.3 and 2.5 times more likely to have had a major depressive episode than subjects who worked an average of 7 or 8 hours per day.
  • The increased risk for depression remained even after the researchers controlled for possible confounding variables, like social demographic factors, age and alcohol and drug use.

Discussing why long hours might increase a person’s odds of depression the researchers suggest that hard-driving workers might be more prone to stress-caused cortisol damage, might have more problems relaxing after work and might experience more difficulties managing home and work responsibilities.

The full study results can be found in the journal, PLoS One.

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Story Highlights
  • Overworking Linked to Depression: Working more than 11 hours per day more than doubles your risk.
  • Family Problems: Long hours at the office may strain home life.
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