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Long Working Hours Increase Health Risks?

Last updated on October 28, 2019

Long working hours are more likely to make you sick, or suffer an injury, a study says.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that workers who work overtime are 61 percent more likely to be injured or sick.

In a study of 110,236 U.S. employment data, researchers found 5,139 work-related injuries and illnesses ranging from stress to cuts, burns and muscle injuries.

More than half of these injuries and illnesses occurred in jobs with long working hours or overtime.

More than 12 hours a day increased the risk by more than a third, while a 60-hour week had a 23 percent higher risk.

The findings, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Health, could support initiatives such as the 48-hour Directive on European Working Time To reduce the number of hours worked.

In the UK, 14 percent of the working population – 3.6 million – work more than 48 hours a week.

Paul Sellers, a political consultant at the trade union congress, said the results were not surprising. He told the BBC: “Employers need to recognize that it is in their interest not to get people to work long hours.”

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