Another long week at the office? It might be time to take a break.
According to a new study out of the U.K., people who work 55 hours or more a week are at a 33 per cent higher risk of stroke compared to those who clock out at the 35-40 hour mark. Additionally, their risk of coronary heart disease also rises by about 10 per cent.
To come up with those numbers, researchers analyzed data from studies out of Europe, the U.S. and Australia, which followed 603,000 men and women for eight years while looking at the participants’ relationship between longer hours at work and cardiovascular disease.
While none of the researchers are entirely sure exactly what it is about longer work weeks that raises stroke risk, they narrowed it down to three possibilities: The stress associated with working 55 hours a week, extensive sitting, and failing to follow a healthy diet or exercise routine as a result of having no spare time.
So what’s the solution? According to the CBC, cardiologists suggest that employers should try to facilitate healthy lifestyles by offering things like opportunities for physical activity, blood pressure monitoring and programs to encourage staff to quit smoking.
Until those measures are implemented, this study could be just the excuse you need to skip out early this week.