WHO’s warning: overwork is killing us, overtime is dangerous to health


Too many working hours a week resulted in the death of 2016 people in 745. people with stroke and ischemic heart disease – warns the World Health Organization. We are working longer and longer and – according to WHO experts – the pandemic could worsen this trend. “Working 55 hours or more a week is a serious health risk,” says one director of the organization.

  1. The World Health Organization has released a report that shows that working too long significantly increases the risk of death from stroke and heart disease
  2. Studies conducted in 2018 in 154 countries were collected. They covered a total of 768 thousand. people struggling with ischemic heart disease and 839 thousand. people with a stroke experience
  3. In 2016, 745 thousand people died due to overwork. people in the world
  4. You can find more such stories on the TvoiLokony home page

WHO report. Overwork kills

Overwork led to 745 thousand. deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization published in the journal Environment International. This is an increase of 29 percent. compared to 2000

According to WHO and ILO estimates, at least 55 hours worked a week resulted in 398 jobs. deaths from stroke and 347 thousand. due to heart disease. Between 2000 and 2016, deaths from heart disease caused by long hours of work increased by 42%, and deaths from stroke by 19%.

The burden of occupational diseases affects mainly men (72% of cases), and residents of the countries of the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia.

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The greatest number of recorded deaths concerns people aged 60-79, who, aged 45-74, worked 55 hours or more per week.

Deadly overwork. The pandemic makes the situation even worse

According to WHO experts, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a number of changes in the work system that may strengthen the tendency to extend working hours.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way many people work,” says Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. Telework has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work. In addition, many companies have been forced to cut back in order to save money, keeping those who remain on the payroll working longer. No job is worth the risk of a stroke or heart disease. Governments, employers, and workers must work together to agree on boundaries for protecting workers’ health Ghebreyesus added.

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Working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health risk – says Dr. Maria Neira, director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization. It is time for all of us, governments, employers and workers, to realize that long working hours can lead to premature death.

The study found that working 55 hours or more a week is associated with an estimated 35% of the workforce. higher risk of stroke and 17 percent. higher risk of death from coronary heart disease compared to work lasting 35-40 hours a week.

Moreover, the number of people working too long is growing. Currently, this applies to 9 percent. of the entire world population in the world.

Working too long – what can be done?

The World Health Organization’s website offers several suggestions for what governments, employers and workers can do to better protect the health of their employees:

  1. governments should introduce, implement and enforce laws and regulations that prohibit compulsory overtime and provide restrictions on working time
  2. bilateral or collective agreements between employers and workers’ unions may establish more flexible working hours as well as a maximum number of working hours
  3. workers could divide their working hours so that the number of hours worked does not exceed 55 or more per week.

See also: Be careful if you work from home. You are at risk of chronic back problems

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