Advertisement

Long Work Hours Harms Women’s Health

Long Work Hours Harms Women’s Health

Mia Hamm dominated women’s soccer between 1987 and 2004. Then in 2007, she had twin girls and in 2012, a son. “Life off the field has been just as demanding and hectic as training for the Olympics or world titles,” she’s confessed. Mia is lucky she didn’t have to juggle both at the same time! Turns out that the one-two combination of kids and work can take a serious toll on women.

A study from Ohio State shows when women work 50 to 60+ hours a week during their 20s, 30s, and 40s, they amp up their risk for health problems down the road. Looking at long-range job history and health data for 7,492 participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, researchers found most working women, but not men, have an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. (Men and women both risk arthritis.)

Working 41-50 hours a week (about 56 percent of folks) ups a women’s risk slightly—51+ hours is more risky—and averaging a 60-hour workweek over three decades dangerously triples their risk of those life-altering diseases. Fortunately, there’s something you can do.

  • Daily de-stressing: Meditate for 15 minutes; get 30 minutes of physical activity (an after-dinner family walk), connect with friends, and don’t short-change yourself on sleep!
  • Prioritize tasks at work and home: Try to eliminate unnecessary activities. If possible, ask your boss about working from home; around 37 percent of workers do it occasionally; they’re just as productive as when they are in the office.
Women's Health Issues: Just Say No to Soda
Women's Health Issues: Just Say No to Soda
Before you pop open a can of soda—as refreshing as soda might sound—think twice. Why is soda bad for you? Well, you may already know that both regular...
Read More
How common are uncomfortable vaginal changes in women?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
A HealthyWomen survey showed that women regularly experience the following uncomfortable vaginal cha...
More Answers
6 Things Your Gyno Wants You to Know
6 Things Your Gyno Wants You to Know6 Things Your Gyno Wants You to Know6 Things Your Gyno Wants You to Know6 Things Your Gyno Wants You to Know
Get expert tips for a better -- and less uncomfortable -- gyno appointment.
Start Slideshow
How Often Should I Do a Breast Self-Exam?
How Often Should I Do a Breast Self-Exam?