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Working for Long Hours Can Land You in Trouble: Know How

By HR Tech Outlook | Thursday, January 16, 2020

Those working for longer hours on the job are more likely to have hypertension and high blood pressure, some of which are hidden type and go undetected during routine check-ups.

FREMONT, CA:  American Heart Association conducted a study that tested blood pressure of the employees who worked 49-plus hours on-job weekly and employees who worked fewer than 35 hours a week. The results were devastating. Those working for longer hours on the job are more likely to have hypertension and high blood pressure, some of which are hidden type and go undetected during routine check-ups.

Hypertension causes more than 82,000 deaths per year and is one of the common problems among half of Americans who are 18 years or old. Masked hypertension is a kind that usually shows normal blood pressure during the regular health check-ups but elevated when somewhere else measured. Around 15-30 percent of U.S. adults have this type of blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can lead to other health complications like a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The study shows that factors like smoking, lack of physical activity, being overweight, stress, too much alcohol in the diet, old age, and genetics also contribute to the high blood pressure in addition to working long hours in the office.

"The observed associations [in the study] accounted for job strain, a work stressor defined as a combination of high work demands, and low decision-making authority. However, other related stressors might have an impact," said lead study author Xavier Trudel. "Future research could examine whether family responsibilities—such as a worker's number of children, household duties, and childcare role—might interact with work circumstances to explain high blood pressure."

Around 19 percent of participants, though taking high blood pressure medications regularly, sustained hypertension from long time. Over 13 percent of the workers who are not under any treatment were detected to have masked hypertension. Moreover, the link between long working hours and high blood pressure appeared to be the same for men as well as women.

Though there are a number of factors that contribute to high blood pressure, the study intends to educate people on the effects of long working hours and subsequently, the health consequences attached to it.

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