Jun 22, 2008

Study finds overtime linked to depression, anxiety

A researcher at the University of Bergen in Norway, Elisabeth Keppa, has found that overtime is associated with increased levels of mental stress, anxiety, and depression. Kleppa assessed a study of 1,300 men and women, who worked 41 to 100 hours per week and 9,000 workers who not more than 40 hours per week. Kleppa's study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The Bloomberg wire service ran an article on this, Working Overtime Is Linked to Depression, Anxiety, Study Shows, noting that the effect was particularly notable among men working more than 100 hours per week who were found to be more likely to be doing heavy manual labor and to be working shiftwork. This is just one study, but it's a fairly substantial size.

Add this to the potential relationship strains that can arise due to the demands of a shiftwork schedule (see related today's related post) and shiftworkers and managers in 24/7 business should be particularly careful about scheduling much overtime, certainly on a prolonged basis.

The National Shiftwork Information Center encourages managers in 24/7 operations to assess their staffing needs and their scheduling practices to make sure shiftworkers are not working too much overtime on a regular basis.

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