The Global Death Toll From Working Too Much on the Rise

Take it easy. Stop working so hard. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack. I’m really worried about you.” At one point in your career, you may have heard this from a loved one.

You probably met this concern with excuses and rationalizations saying things like, “The company is depending on me. I’m close to getting a raise and promotion if I keep this up!” You don’t think of the toll taken on your emotional, mental and physical health. It’s all about building and growing your career, in an attempt to climb the corporate ladder.

It’s easy to believe that you can keep putting in the long hours and endure the unrelenting stress without repercussions. There is a feeling of invincibility. “Bad things happen to other people,” you tell yourself. “I’m relatively young and healthy,” you believe. “These are my prime earning years and I have to hustle.

The problem is, according to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), “Long working hours led to 745,000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016, a 29% increase since 2000.” The substantial number of strokes and heart disease resulted from workingat least 55 hours a week.” The study by the WHO and ILO concludes that working 55 or more hours per week is associated with a higher risk of a stroke and dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35 to 40 hours a week. There is heightened concern that people are working increasingly longer hours, which puts more people at risk of an “early death.” They are literally working themselves to death.