SAD!!! 745,000 People Died Of Heart Disease Due To Long Working Hours

No fewer than 745,000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease as a result of long working hours were recorded in 2016.

Latest estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) showed that the death figure represented an increase of 29 per cent since 2000.

These estimates were contained in a study titled “Global, regional, and national burdens of ischemic heart disease and stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours for 194 countries, 2000–2016: A systematic analysis from the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury.”

The study comes as the COVID-19 pandemic shines a spotlight on managing working hours, and accelerating developments that could feed the trend towards increased working time.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, believes the pandemic has significantly changed the way many people work, noting that teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work.

He said, “Many businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down operations to save money, and people who are still on the payroll end up working longer hours.

“No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease. Governments, employers and workers need to work together to agree on limits to protect the health of workers.”

In her reaction, WHO Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, Dr Maria Neira, warned that Working 55 hours or more per week was a serious health hazard.

She, therefore, called on governments, employers, and employees to wake up to the fact that long working hours could lead to premature death.

According to the analysis published in Environment International on Monday, WHO and ILO broke down the figure which revealed that 398,000 people died from stroke and 347,000 from heart disease in 2016 as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.

This indicates that between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke due to working long hours increased by 42 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

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