What happens if you work more than 40 hours a week?


According to the results of scientific studies, overtime does not make a difference in work but will certainly cause long-term damage to the human body.

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and the new CEO of Twitter, made headlines when he asked some employees to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week during the sprint to hit their goals. November.

Elon Musk has long been a proponent of working long hours. In 2018, when asked how many hours a week he should work to change the world, Elon Musk replied on Twitter that it should be about 80 hours a week, peaking maybe over 100 hours.

Elon Musk isn’t the only CEO who believes that working long hours is necessary to get the job done. A Harvard University study that tracked 27 CEOs found that they worked an average of 62.5 hours a week.






Many studies confirm that the longer the working time, the worse the quality of work and the health of workers. Illustration: HuffPost

However, not everyone works as CEOs. A Gallup poll found that half of full-time workers in the US typically work more than 40 hours a week, while 18% say they work more than 60 hours a week.

This is the result of research showing what really happens to your body and brain after working more than 40 hours a week.

Increased risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack

Working for too long can be a serious, sometimes even fatal, hazard. According to a global study in 2021 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), working long hours (more than 55 hours per week) causes 745,000 deaths from heart diseases. heart rate only in 2016. Working 55 hours or more, per week, was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease compared with working 35-40 hours a week. .

Frank Pega, a WHO official, said: “Long working hours can cause cardiovascular disease by increasing stress that damages cells in the brain and heart. They can also cause adverse reactions. response to risk behaviors, such as less exercise, a less nutritious diet, or less sleep.”

Increased risk of injury

Working long hours also puts you at risk of physical injury while at work.

A study by the American Institute of Health, Environmental and Occupational Health (2005) looking at 110,236 work records between 1987 and 2000 found that working 12 hours a day was associated with an increased risk of death. 37%, while working at least 60 hours per week causes the rate of occupational accidents to increase by 23%.

Mental health deteriorates

A 2020 study published in the journal PLOS One looked at Korean workers in their 20s and 30s, a group of people who work 31 to more than 60 hours a week. The researchers found that the longer these employees worked, the higher the levels of stress, depression and suicidal ideation they faced.

Sleep is affected

In a review of 200 studies from 1998 to 2018, the researchers wrote on International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health In conclusion, short sleep time is the most important issue, related to long working time.

People with insomnia fall into fatigue, poor cognitive function, more prone to work injuries and mental health problems. This shows that sleep is very important for health. When you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you become irritable at work the next day. Many studies have found that you are easily distracted, anxious, irritable, and easily impulsive.

Unable to develop strengths

University of California management professor Morten Hansen conducted a five-year survey of 5,000 employees and managers across industries.

He found that working 30-50 hours can improve workers’ performance, but if they work more than 50 hours, their work performance starts to go down. If they work more than 65 hours a week, performance will plummet.

His findings are similar to Stanford economist John Pencavel’s conclusion about the productivity of bomb factory workers during World War I. Pencaval found that factory workers can increase productivity if they work up to 49 hours a week but then become less productive, while the likelihood of injury increases. Pencavel concludes: “Employees who work for long periods of time can experience fatigue or stress, which not only reduces productivity but also increases the likelihood of errors, accidents and illnesses, causing increased costs. increased costs for employers”.

Thuy Linh (According to HuffPost)

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