Working Yourself to Death: Long Hours Bring Risks

Written by on August 6, 2018 in Hazards, Issues & Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

By Kathleen Doheny | WebMD

July 16, 2018 — At 35, Jennifer was single and childless. She poured herself into her work. As a physical therapist who also was director of the department at a hospital, she says she regularly put in 60 to 75 hours a week.

“I was always working,” she says. “I could avoid the emptiness in my life. I saw a full caseload of patients, often more than those who worked for me,” she says. She also attended meetings, coached staff, did quality reviews and handled payroll and doctor relations.

Then came the fallout.

“My health effects were significant,” she says now. Her periods disappeared. She cracked a tooth from grinding her teeth, had she had chronic abdominal pain and extreme fatigue.

She had been getting help for what she says were her other issues: excess alcohol use and overeating. She noticed she wasn’t making the progress that her colleagues in those 12-step programs were. She Googled “workaholics,” found Workaholics Anonymous, joined, and began to change her habits.

That was 5 years ago. Her workweek now is calmer, saner, and capped at 40 hours. The rest of her life is falling into place, too. “I’m now in a loving relationship; we’ve moved in together,” she says.

Jennifer now practices self-care, makes time for a massageyoga and the gym, and has let go of “the obsession to talk about work,” she says

The turning point? She says she realized that work addiction, like the other forms of addiction, can be fatal.

“If it doesn’t kill me, it will keep me miserable the rest of my life,” she says she realized.

Overworking and Health Issues

Many people still look at long hour hours on the job as proof of their work ethic. Some historians trace the work ethic to the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, when working hard was thought to align with the values of their faith.

Americans who work full time log an average of 47 hours a week, according to a 2014 Gallup poll, and some, of course, put in many more hours.

Read the rest of the article at WebMD…


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