Five reasons why working too much is bad for your health

You’re not as important as you think you are, some would say. Attachment to one’s occupation, volunteer opportunities, or entrepreneurial endeavors may seem like a noble deed — a pursuit of a purpose or fulfilling a great need in society, or just being a “hard worker”, a helper, a giver; but when it comes to a point where you are working extended hours, not taking time to care for yourself including having time to prepare food or spend time with loved ones, or just your self it may just be time for some self reflection on a bigger scale — or even corrective action to avoid the long term health effects of a not so sustainable lifestyle you may be attempting to lead.

You’re not as important as you think you are, some would say.

Attachment to one’s occupation, volunteer opportunities, or entrepreneurial endeavors may seem like a noble deed — a pursuit of a purpose or fulfilling a great need in society, or just being a “hard worker”, a helper, a giver; but when it comes to a point where you are working extended hours, not taking time to care for yourself including having time to prepare food or spend time with loved ones, or just your self it may just be time for some self reflection on a bigger scale — or even corrective action to avoid the long term health effects of a not so sustainable lifestyle you may be attempting to lead.

Working too many hours can put you in the category of more than doubling the risk of depression, according to a study in the journal PLoS ONE.

But avoiding depression is just one reason to pull on the working reigns.

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study in 2009 showing risks of dementia and/or mental decline for people who push the 8-hour work day into middle age.

Sitting all day at a desk or in front of a computer all day can lead to higher risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease according to a study from the University of Missouri.

Risk of incurring cardiovascular issues jumps almost 60% for people who work over 10 hours per day according to a 2010 study done by the European Society of Cardiology. And the stress can lead to anxiety, and loss of touch with who you really are.

Dr. Barbara Killinger, Ph.D. clinical psychologist specializing in workaholism looks at the inner dynamics of workaholism as somewhat a state of self-absorbed narcissism.

As much purpose driven as it may seem it can be very ego driven – looking for a feeling of self worth.

Workoholics are at serious risk to suffer from debilitating depression as mentioned above and severe panic attacks and Dr. Killinger says it is typically derived from fear: fear of failure, boredom, laziness, or even more important – fear of self-discovery. Self-discovery in a sense of opening up to the other side of oneself: self-doubt.

They don’t want to be vulnerable and become acquainted with their sabotaging shadow side of their character so look towards perfectionism according to Dr. Killinger.

To balance all the work in your life, it’s important you take “Non-negotiable Self Time” — time to prepare food and eat properly while avoiding stimulants and sugar, exercising and spending some time in nature and adding in some meditation or yoga.

A meaningful life is never the end result.

Practicing your non-negotiable self time can help your life flow much more smoothly and allow you to enjoy the journey —and ultimately get more accomplished in all areas.

Sources:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-workaholics/201204/the-workaholic-breakdown-syndrome-six-fears

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/28/overtime-work-hurts-health_n_1237941.html

Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Thursday. She can be reached at kristin@somethingtochewon.ca.

Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read