[OPE] Working Overtime Is Linked to Depression, Anxiety

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Wed Jun 18 2008 - 12:35:11 EDT

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Antonio Pagliarone 
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 4:00 PM 
Subject: Working Overtime Is Linked
to Depression, Anxiety, Study Shows 

Working Overtime Is
Linked to Depression, Anxiety, Study Shows 

By Chantal Britt

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Employees who work overtime are more
likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, according to a study in the
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 

overtime was associated with higher anxiety and depression scores among
both men and women, particularly among workers on lower incomes and
less-skilled workers, Elisabeth Kleppa from the University of Bergen in
Norway found. 

A European Union directive entitled employees to
refuse to work more than 48 hours a week. Previous research had shown
overtime and long working hours lead to fatigue and stress, which raise
the risk of illness and injury. 

Even moderate overtime hours
appear to raise the risk of ``mental distress,'' Kleppa wrote in the
study. It could be that working overtime leads to increased ``wear and
tear,'' or that people with characteristics predisposing to anxiety and
depression, such as low education and job skills, are more likely to take
jobs requiring long work hours, Kleppa wrote. 

Kleppa assessed
symptoms of anxiety and depression in a larger study of Norwegian men and
women, using a standard questionnaire. She compared anxiety and depression
scores for 1,350 employees who worked 41 to 100 hours per week and about
9,000 workers who worked 40 hours or less. 

The rate of
questionnaire scores indicating possible depression rose to 13 percent for
those who worked overtime from about 9 percent for men with normal work
hours. For women, the rate of possible depression increased to 11 from 7

The link between overtime and anxiety and depression
was strongest among men who worked as many as 100 hours per week. Men
working such hours also had higher rates of heavy manual labor and shift
work, and lower levels of work skills and education. 

contact the reporter on this story: Chantal Britt at cbritt@bloomberg.net.

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