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Long workdays double the chance of depression

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Office workers who regularly undertake long working days are twice as likely to suffer from depression, new research has found.

Researchers from British and Finnish universities investigated the link between long working hours and depression on 2,000 Whitehall civil servants between the ages of 35 and 55, reports the Daily Mail.

Their results showed that anyone spending in excess of 11 hours a day or 55 hours a week at their desks was more likely to suffer side effects in their mental health.

Women were most affected by the long hours, as well as younger workers on low pay with a tendency to drink moderately.

The study took over six years to complete as the researchers checked up on the progress of workers over this time and even factoring other aspects of lives into the equation, long working hours had the most direct link with depression.

Longer hours had more of an impact than the stressfulness of the job or unhealthy lifestyles, showing that sitting at a desk for extended periods of time has a negative effect on state of mind.

What is interesting is that the margins are quite slim with those working for 11 hours two and a half times more likely to have a depressive episode than those who have work days of eight hours in length.

Men who were better paid for working longer hours had a reduced likelihood of experiencing depression, which couldn’t be said for their female counterparts, the study found.

Professor Stephen Stansfeld, co-author of the research, told the news provider: “People working very long hours may be working less efficiently, and need to be thinking about their health and stress it may be causing in their home life as well.”

Depression is an elongated period of feeling down and can affect people in different ways from feeling constantly tired, loss of appetite and aches and pains.