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Deaths from long working hours on the rise

18.05.2021 09:46 AM
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Deaths from long working hours on the rise
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Deaths from long working hours on the rise
The World Health Organization said that long working hours lead to the death of hundreds and thousands of people annually. And the first global study of its kind showed that 745,000 people died in 2016 from stroke and heart disease resulting from long working hours.The study found that people living in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region are the most affected.

The World Health Organization also said that the trend may worsen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The study concluded that working 55 hours or more per week was associated with an increased risk of stroke by 35 percent, and an increased risk of death from heart disease by 17 percent, compared to a workweek of 35 to 40 hours.

The study, conducted in cooperation with the International Labor Organization, showed that about three-quarters of the deaths due to long working hours were of middle-aged men or older.
 
 
 
Often, the deaths occurred late in life, sometimes decades later, from long working hours.

Although the study did not cover the period of the pandemic, WHO officials said the recent jump in telecommuting and the economic slowdown may have boosted the risks associated with long working hours.

"We have some evidence that shows that when countries implement a national lockdown, the number of working hours increases by about 10 percent," said Frank Biga, WHO's technical officer.
 


The study reported that long working hours are estimated to be responsible for about a third of all work-related illnesses, making it the largest burden of work-related illness.

The World Health Organization recommends that employers should now take this into account when assessing work-related health risks for their employees.

Biga said that limiting working hours would be beneficial to employers as this has been shown to increase productivity rates.

"Not increasing long working hours in the presence of an economic crisis is really a smart choice," he added.

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