In today’s fast-paced world it can be easy to get caught up in a pattern of all work and no play. While some may think that this is a productive approach to getting things done, there are actually a number of negative health effects associated with developing such a work-centered approach to life.
While working hard and staying focused on work is important, not taking the time to relax often results in an unhealthy work-life balance. This approach can actually have a number of negative effects on your health and in the end make you less productive in your professional endeavors.
Creating a strong work-life balance is all about making time for both work and your personal life. Whether it’s time spent with your family, friends, or participating in your favorite hobbies, you need to make time for things in your life that don’t have to do with work.
Not everyone’s work-life balance is the same. Some people will need to work more and some people will need to spend more time “playing.” What is important is that both of these aspects must have a strong presence in your life, and you should feel as though you are making enough time to do an appropriate amount of the fun things in life.
However, in today’s market, it can be increasingly difficult for individuals to create the type of work-life balance that they want. Things like tough bosses, long business hours and lengthy commutes all impact a person’s ability to create a healthy work-life balance. However, individuals who fail to make accommodations to create a better work-life balance can actually be hurting their health in the process.
How a Bad Work-Life Balance Hurts Your Health
Unfortunately, working too much and failing to create a healthy work-life balance can have a negative impact on your health. Studies have found that a poor-work-life balance can impact your health in a number of ways, including the following.
- People who work more than 11 hours a day have an increased risk of depression when compared to individuals who work seven to eight hours a day.
- Those who work more than 50 hours per week tend to get less than six hours of sleep per night during the work week, while experts say that individuals need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to stay healthy.
- Individuals who do not sleep 7-9 hours per night have a decreased memory and a lower ability to learn when compared to those who sleep an appropriate amount.
- Working overtime increases your chances of developing cardiovascular issues by 60 percent.
- Up to 80 percent of avid computer users experience some type of vision issues. They are also more prone to blurred vision and headaches.
- Individuals who work more than 40 hours a week have higher chances of weight gain, and tobacco and alcohol use.
- People who consistently work overtime are more likely to have mental health issues.
Obviously the reality is that many jobs today demand more than the typical 40-hour commitment. Despite this, you can still make time in your schedule to take a break from work. It is important that all individuals, no matter how busy they may be, take the time to try to create a better work-life balance. Doing this will not only improve your personal life, but it will also help you lead a healthier (and ultimately happier) life.