Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Long working hours are a killer, WHO study shows

Stock Markets May 17, 2021 03:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Labourers are silhouetted against the sun while digging a field to install water pipes along a road in Karachi, May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Athar Hussain/File Photo 2/2

By Emma Farge

GENEVA (Reuters) - Working long hours is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year in a worsening trend that may accelerate further due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

In the first global study of the loss of life associated with longer working hours, the paper in the journal Environment International showed that 745,000 people died from stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours in 2016.

That was an increase of nearly 30% from 2000.

"Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard," said Maria Neira, director of the WHO's Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.

"What we want to do with this information is promote more action, more protection of workers," she said.

The joint study, produced by the WHO and the International Labour Organization, showed that most victims (72%) were men and were middle-aged or older. Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the shifts worked.

It also showed that people living in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region -- a WHO-defined region which includes China, Japan and Australia -- were the most affected.

Overall, the study - drawing on data from 194 countries - said that working 55 hours or more a week is associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease compared with a 35-40 hour working week.

The study covered the period 2000-2016, and so did not include the COVID-19 pandemic, but WHO officials said the surge in remote working and the global economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus emergency may have increased the risks.

"The pandemic is accelerating developments that could feed the trend towards increased working time," the WHO said, estimating that at least 9% of people work long hours.

WHO staff, including its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, say they have been working long hours during the pandemic and Neira said the U.N. agency would seek to improve its policy in light of the study.

Capping hours would be beneficial for employers since that has been shown to increase worker productivity, WHO technical officer Frank Pega said.

"It's really a smart choice not to increase long working hours in an economic crisis."

Long working hours are a killer, WHO study shows
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (12)
dek ra
dek ra May 17, 2021 10:52AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Who cares? They are not even women, minor ethnicity or LGBTQ
Greg Hamilton
OptionsTrader May 17, 2021 6:58AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Oh no! I thought hard work and long hours was the way to success?
Vincent Li
Vincent Li May 17, 2021 6:49AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
All businesses must track wprk hours of employees at the computer or in meetings to ensure healthy hours are met otherwise companies will get penalty from the labor department..
Roger Miller
Roger Miller May 17, 2021 3:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
To general a study, did not account for ever increasing obesity rates due to the adoption of the poor western diet and poor lifestyle choices.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller May 17, 2021 3:15AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Substandard studies like this is what your tax dollars fund.
Maikel Roman Remedio
Maikel Roman Remedio May 17, 2021 12:39AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lies and more lies coming from WHO...
Buz Burkhead
Buz Burkhead May 16, 2021 9:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ya think any of those folks smoked cigarettes?
Black Beard
Black Beard May 16, 2021 8:53PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the corporations couldn't care less. shut up commie!
Malcolm Gibson
Malcolm Gibson May 16, 2021 8:52PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
"off" that is
Malcolm Gibson
Malcolm Gibson May 16, 2021 8:50PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So, is forced time of in the cards?
Malcolm Gibson
Malcolm Gibson May 16, 2021 8:50PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
off
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo May 16, 2021 8:26PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ask Amazon in their warehouses.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email