Working Long Hours Doubles Depression Odds
January 26, 2012
By Matt McMillen
Working long hours appears to substantially increase a person’s risk of becoming depressed, regardless of how stressful the actual work is, a new study suggests.
The study, which followed 2,123 British civil servants for six years, found that workers who put in an average of at least 11 hours per day at the office had roughly two and a half times higher odds of developing depression than their colleagues who clocked out after seven or eight hours.
The link between long workdays and depression persisted even after the researchers took into account factors such as job strain, the level of support in the workplace, alcohol use, smoking, and chronic physical diseases.
Although the findings are “consistent with previous studies, the degree of increased risk was surprising,” says Bryan Bruno, M.D., chair of the psychiatry department at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City, who was not involved in the research. “The biggest condition that I work with is depression, and it is often related to work stressors.”