Long Hours

And this, my dears, is exactly why blogging is so stressful. If you’re awake, you’re mostly reading things to blog about, blogging, or thinking about blogging. (Or you’re blogging in advance so you can take some time off.) It’s just crazy.

But it’s not as bad as working on a campaign, where I routinely worked 14-hour days. I’ll never do that again:

May 11 (Bloomberg) — Working 10 hours or more a day may harm the heart, according to a study of more than 10,000 British civil servants.

People who added three or more hours to a seven-hour day had a 60 percent greater risk of heart attack, angina and death from cardiovascular disease than those with no overtime work, researchers from the U.K., Finland and France reported today in the European Heart Journal. The findings are from the Whitehall II study, which has tracked British civil servants since 1985.

The results bolster evidence that suggests working overtime is linked to poor health and may play a greater role in heart disease than previously thought, wrote Gordon McInnes, a professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Glasgow, in an editorial accompanying the study. Physicians should consider working hours when patients experience chest pain or show symptoms of heart disease, he said.

“Employees with the highest risk of coronary heart disease claimed to work 11 to 12 hours per day, a most unusual work pattern certainly in the European context,” McInnes wrote. “Overtime-induced work stress might contribute to a substantial proportion of cardiovascular disease.”

3 thoughts on “Long Hours

  1. The Big Telecommunications Corporation I worked for liked to designate workers as “managers” in order to avoid paying overtime. It also routinely expected 45-50 hour weeks, and far more when conditions “required” it.

    When I moved out here, the work week was a nominal 37 hours, but within a few months the designated work week was raised to 40 hours. 50-60 was more like it.

    Our management also told us that if we weren’t working 50 hours a week, we were cheating the company. They apparently believed they were overpaying people by 20%, so they felt asking for 50 hours was absolutely fair.

    A huge cheer went up when this was announced, with people saying, finally, I can go home at 5:00! A bit of dark humor, since no one left work at 5 or 6; by 7PM people would be clearing out, but some were almost always there far into the night.

    People who had long commutes actually bragged about how often they had to sleep over on the office floor. Sheesh. Didn’t help them much when the downsizing was put into overdrive. Then what seemed to matter most in choosing who would have to go was 1) connections to those in power and 2) years with the corporation and higher salaries.

    But, of course, age had absolutely nothing to do with getting downsized!

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