“Arrive early, leave late.” It’s one of the oldest pieces of advice in corporate America, widely accepted as the first step towards making a positive impression at work and setting yourself apart on your race up the corporate ladder. But, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, making those longer work hours a regular thing—and being an office hero—comes with one seriously major drawback: It significantly affects your heart.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 143,000 people aged 18 to 69 years-old and found that working longer than 10 hours-per-day at least 50 days-per-year increased one’s risk of stroke by 29 percent. Doing so for a decade or more? Yeah, that boosted a person’s risk of stroke by a whopping 45 percent.
Notably, the findings don’t just apply to older workers.
“The association between 10 years of long work hours and stroke seemed stronger for people under the age of 50,” said Alexis Descatha, a researcher at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and co-author of the study. “This was unexpected.”
The eye-opening study bolsters plenty of previous existing research on the subject, including one 2016 study published in The American Journal of Nursing. Those researchers found that working 55 hours (or more) per week was linked with a higher risk of heart disease. To lower the health risks, the researchers advised adhering to the standard 9 to 5 week and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
But that’s not all you can do. It’s important to start logging your hours more closely, taking advantage of to-do lists, and setting boundaries with your boss and colleagues. And for more ways to add structure to your days, see the rest of our 50 Genius Ways for You to Achieve a Perfect Work-Life Balance.
After all, it’s for the sake of your heart.
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