People who work three or four hours overtime a day increase their risk of heart disease by 60 per cent, according to a new study published in the ‘British Heart Journal’.
Doctors found nearly 370 cases where people had fatal heart disease, a heart attack or developed angina. These cases seemed to be strongly linked with the number of hours spent working overtime.
Less time to exercise, relax and unwind
Researchers suggest one explanation for this link may be that people who spend more time at work have less time to exercise, relax and unwind. They may also be more stressed, anxious, or depressed.
However lead researcher Mianna Virtanen stressed that 'more research is needed before we can be confident that overtime work would cause coronary heart disease'.
Diabetes UK encourages people to get active at work to improve their health by keeping fit and lowering their stress levels.
"Physical activity benefits weight management which in turn reduces a person’s chance of developing Type 2 diabetes as well as lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke", said Diabetes UK Care Advisor Cathy Moulton.
Keeping active can improve diabetes control
"For people with diabetes, keeping active can improve diabetes control and help prevent some of the complications of diabetes", she added.
"There are some simple ways of looking after your health at work: you can take the stairs instead of the lift, go and speak to a colleague in person instead of over the phone, take a brisk walk at lunch time, and snack on fruit rather than biscuits."