The average American works between 47 and 50 hours per week (that’s seven to 10 hours of overtime regularly). Of course, the extra cash may be nice and your salary may seem worth it. But what is working long hours doing to your health?
What Working Long Hours is Doing to Your Health
The video above talks about 42-year-old Jeff Hiserodt. Hiserodt was working upwards of 60 to 65 hours per week until he had a stroke. The entire left side of his body went numb. A new study from the American Heart Association took a look at how working long hours and your risk of stroke.
Findings showed people who spend 10 or more years working long hours have a 45 percent higher risk of stroke. For those under the age of 50, the association between the two seemed even stronger.
For the study, researchers defined “long hours” as working 10 or more hours a day more than 50 days per year. Considering the average American is working a 50-hour week, that is alarming. However, Dr. Arbi Ohanian doesn’t believe it is cause for concern.
Ohanian believes that you can’t simply tell someone to stop working because their work is stressful. Almost every job is stressful. It is more about defining what is “too much.”
“The type of work that you do, I’m sure factors into this. The type of lifestyle that you have also factors into this,” said Ohanian.
Best Ways to Prevent Stroke
Working long days is common among many Americans just to make ends meet. That isn’t likely to change any time soon. Instead, doctors point out some of the easier, more obtainable preventative measures.
For instance, if you smoke, quitting would help prevent stroke. Other preventative measures include healthy eating, regular exercise, and visiting your doctor on a regular basis for checkups. It is also important that any current health conditions you may have don’t go unchecked (i.e. high blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiac issues, etc).
Another thing you need to make a priority to decrease your risk of stroke is stress management. Finding better ways to manage stress in your life can make all the difference. Take time out of your day to do yoga, read, and unwind.
Hiserodt quoted stress management as his key to success in recovering from his stroke. “I take the time out to go to a nice painting class with my friends at my stroke group,” he said, “I work out. I ride my bike. I changed my whole life. I don’t want to take for granted the second chance that I’ve been given.”
Strokes kill more than 140,000 Americans every year, costing the United States $34 billion per year. Finding ways to prevent strokes early on could be key in decreasing these numbers.