Science Says Leave Work Early

We all know that achieving a work-life balance is ideal, but many of us end up working far longer than the 9-to-5 40-hour work week. A recent study found that workers who put in more than 55 hours per week had a 33 percent greater risk of stroke than those who worked 35 to 40 hours.

Past studies have shown that long, stressful work hours increase an employee’s risk for diabetes only if that employee is of low socioeconomic status. This recent study on stroke risk, which was based on data for 603,838 individuals, is less discriminating. Mika Kivimaki, the lead author on the study and a professor of epidemiology at University College London, told The Huffington Post that these new results were “surprising.” In contrast with past studies, in this study, “the association with stroke was seen in all groups.” That means that an increased risk for stroke due to long working hours was the same across the young and old, the male and female, the rich and poor.

So what can you do to help prevent increasing your own stroke risk? Be diligent about keeping your blood pressure in the normal range. Stay active, even if that just means walking around the block once a day. We can't say it enough: You need to move every day. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. And, avoid stress as often as possible. Most importantly, go home! Pour yourself a bath and indulge in a home-spa experience. You deserve it.

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What do you make of this new study? Share your thoughts in the comments!