Friday, February 27, 2009

Working long hours causes brain damage, go home

Looking for reasons to cut out early this Friday afternoon? Tell your boss that working long hours causes brain damage ... and you have the research to prove it.

New research
from University College London and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health suggests long working hours may raise the risk of mental decline and possibly dementia.

As part of the largest study of its kind, researchers analyzed 2,214 middle-aged UK civil servants using cognitive tests in 1997-99 and again in 2002-04.

The first set of tests were administered to two groups of people, one group of employees who worked more than 55 hours a week and the other group worked 35 to 40 hours a week.

The first group performed significantly worse in vocabulary tests than those employees who worked less hours. Follow-up tests mirrored the original findings in that employees who worked more than 55 hours a week performed worse on vocabulary tests and cognitive reasoning.

“The effects were cumulative, the longer the working week, the worse the test results. Employees with long working hours also had shorter sleeping hours, reported more symptoms of depression and used more alcohol than those with normal working hours.”

So when you’re skipping out of the office early today, just let your boss know that it’s for your health. Have a happy Friday!

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