By Shelbie Lynn Bostedt
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new study reveals women who worked more than 60 hours a week on average over the course of three decades were three times more likely to develop diabetes, cancer, heart trouble and arthritis.
Who run the world? Girls. But we’re putting our lives at risk to keep it that way.
According to a new study from Ohio State University, women who put in long hours on the job are more at risk for life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that women who worked more than 60 hours a week on average over the course of three decades were three times more likely to develop diabetes, cancer, heart trouble and arthritis.
Women working over 40 hours all were more likely to develop heart issues, with the likelihood of developing a life-threatening illness increasing with each hour over 40 worked, and skyrocketing after 50 hours.
“Women — especially women who have to juggle multiple roles — feel the effects of intensive work experiences, and that can set the table for a variety of illnesses and disability,” said Allard Dembe, a professor of health services management and policy and the leader of the study. “Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s are setting themselves up for problems later in life.”
The study used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, carried out by Ohio State’s Center for Human Resource Research and sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consisting of 12,000 interviews with Americans born between 1957 and 1964. Researchers averaged the self-reported hours worked over the course of 32 years and found a strong correlation between the increase in hours worked and the diagnoses of eight chronic diseases, including heart disease, depression, high blood pressure and cancer.
Fifty-six percent of the those questioned worked between 41 and 50 hours, 13 percent between 51 and 60 and 3 percent more than 60.
When broken down by gender, the study found that men who worked long hours weren’t any more susceptible to chronic disease than those who worked a normal workweek. On the contrary, men who worked between 41 and 50 hours a week had a lower risk of heart disease, lung disease and depression.
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The gender differences in the study can be traced to women’s workdays not ending when they get home, where, in most households, they tackle the majority of family responsibilities and household chores. We knew gender roles were crap, but now we have evidence that they’re physically damaging. Get with it, society.