Working Long Hours Leads to Depression Risk in Women

LONDON – After studying the data collected from the Understanding Society, United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study(UKHLS), a research team has found that working excessively long days could be detrimental to mental health. In the study, it was found that women who work for more than 55  hours a week or every weekend are more susceptible to mental health problems in comparison to regular women who work for 35 to 40 hours a week. The UKHLS tracks the health of around 40,000 households in the UK. Researchers used data from over 23,000 men and women which included data about employment.

In the study, it was found that men work more hours than women on average. Also, half of the women worked part-time while only 15 percent of the men did. Not only this, but married men also work for longer hours than women usually worked fewer. The study found that women work more than men in male-dominated fields. These jobs have been linked to higher levels of depression in women. The women who have a “potential double burden” when factoring in household duties and caring for family members suffer depression easily.

Apart from this, the study highlighted many other factors which affect the mental health of both people irrespective of genders. Smokers and older workers who earned the least and those who had the least control at their jobs tended to be more depressed state of mind. The study also found that there are several risk factors associated with depression. Some of these are a family history of depression, major life changes, trauma, stress, and certain physical illnesses. The common symptoms of depression could be persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, loss of interest in hobbies, and sleeping disorders.

It has been established in the study that women who work for longer hours face a higher risk of depression. So, it is highly important for employers to consider new policies that aim to decrease the burden on women in the workforce without decreasing their participation in their jobs.

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