Work Got You Down?

A recent study performed by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health showed a link between longer work hours and increased risk of depression.
The study followed over 2000 male and female British Civil Service workers between the ages of 35-55 for an average of 5.8 years. All of the participants were healthy, reported no symptoms of depression at the start of the study, and were asked about their work hours.
At the end of the survey period, the workers were screened again and the previously healthy participants who worked 11 or more hours per day at the beginning of the study were almost 2.5 times more likely to have a diagnosis of clinical depression than those who worked more normal hours.
Certainly there are many potential factors at work here. Spending more time at work can create stressors at home. There is less time to exercise, sleep, relax, and enjoy ourselves. We may eat less well. We feel guilty that we have to work such long hours and sacrifice other things in our life, yet feel guilty or have other stressors if we do not work the long hours. This I understand–as I write this, I am missing my daughter’s school conference.
It is important to find balance in all things. Work, play, joy, sadness, hunger, satiety, and yes our hormones too.