Long working hours could cause depression

Workers spending long hours in office are more than twice likely to develop depression than those who do a standard day, with the most susceptible being women, youngsters and the ones drawing low pay with moderate alcohol consumption, says a British study.

Researchers found those who spend more than 11 hours a day -- or 55 hours a week -- at their desk faced a higher risk. The most susceptible were women, younger people and those on a low pay grade with moderate alcohol consumption, the Daily Mail reported.

Over 2,000 Whitehall civil servants with various jobs, salaries and working hours were recruited in the early 1990s for the study of employees aged 35 to 55.

When they were followed up six years later, scientists at two London universities and colleagues in Finland found a 'robust association' between overtime and depression - even allowing for other factors such as unhealthy lifestyles, marital status and a degree of job stress.

Of those questioned for the Whitehall II study, which is one of the most detailed on working hours and health in this country, 66 had experienced a 'major depressive episode' during the follow-up period, a rate of 3.1 percent.

Those who worked 11 or more hours a day were two-and-a-half times as likely to have one than those who worked seven or eight hours.

Although many of those who work long hours are men on high pay grades with challenging jobs, their levels of depression were relatively low.

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