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40-hour work week is a "healthy basis"
For years, there has been constant discussion about more flexible working hours. In some occupations, employees can divide up when and how long they work. Not in others: In the care sector, for example, 12-hour shifts are often due. Scientists report that working long hours is bad for your health.
Long working hours endanger health
For many people, the workload increases. That endangers health. Too much stress will make us sick, experts warn. Long working hours are particularly problematic. For years, experts have pointed out that more than 40 working hours per week are harmful to health. A new study from Austria also shows that a 40-hour work week can be seen as a “healthy basis”.
Increased risk especially for women
Those who work too long endanger their health. This increases the risk of stroke, as reported by an international team of researchers. According to a US study, long hours are a health risk, especially for women.
If you work more than 40 hours a week, your risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes increases significantly.
A new study from Austria also comes to the conclusion that long working hours have negative effects on health.
Long service increases the risk of accidents
The investigation by Gerhard Blasche and Daniela Haluza from the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna on the state of fatigue of people after a 12-hour working day has shown that these long services lead to considerable daytime fatigue, which is difficult to break down in the normal way through the day off can be.
They also harbor health risks and increased risk of accidents as well as the frequency of errors, as the researchers at the Center for Public Health, Department of Environmental Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, report.
The study results were published in the specialist magazine "International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health".
Fatigue cannot be compensated for by relaxation
In order to arrive at their results, the experts examined the burden on geriatric nurses in retirement homes in Austria on 12-hour working days.
In a press release, they wrote about the result: "The fatigue increase during a 12-hour day shift is three and a half times greater than on a day off, and the fatigue increases significantly during two consecutive 12-hour shifts."
And: "In this case, relaxation on the edge of the day is not enough to immediately compensate for this fatigue."
Three days off
According to the researchers, the study shows that after two consecutive days, each with twelve hours of work, you would have to take three days off to fully recover.
In general, there is practically every person, but at the latest by the tenth hour of work per day, there is a significant line break - including an increased risk of accidents at work or on the road.
Therefore, the daily working time should not normally exceed eight hours, the study concluded.
The current 8-hour rule is a healthy basis
"This shows that our current regulation of an 8-hour day is a healthy basis," said Blasche. Anyone who works 50 or more hours a week for years has an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or an increase in mental illness, especially for women.
"This is probably due to the higher additional burden of childcare," said the expert. Longer working days or blocked work are also not sensible.
Because then, because of the advanced fatigue, a disproportionately greater effort is required to provide the service, with the associated stress reaction. The pent-up fatigue also prevents you from enjoying your free time.
As it says in the communication, people in our performance-oriented society generally tend to spend too much. Companies should therefore ensure that workers take breaks and encourage them to actually take advantage of them. (ad)