Long hours linked to depression in women but not men, study suggests



"Women who worked 55 or more hours a week and/or who worked most/every weekend had the worst mental health of all", the authors of the study said in a news release. They suggest this could be because women face a "double burden" of very long hours spent in their job on top of domestic chores, which they tend to do much more of than male partners.

Researchers studied over 20,000 adults and found that women who work more than 55 hours a week had more symptoms of depression than women working a standard 35 to 40-hour work week.

If you regularly clock more than 55 hours per week at work, you might want to take a step back and consider the effects of these long hours on your mental health. They drew on data from Understanding Society, a well-known United Kingdom longitudinal study that has been following 40,000 households since 2009.

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Carried out by researchers at University College London, the Department of Research and Policy at Age U.K., and Queen Mary University of London, the new study looked at data on 11,215 men and 12,188 women, which included occupational information and depressive symptoms as measured by a validated general health questionnaire.

Two-thirds of men work at weekends compared with half of women, according to the study, which has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Generally, older workers, smokers, and those who earned the least and who had the least job control were more depressed.

Weston stressed that the authors' findings did not prove that long hours led directly to depression.

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