Women Who Work Long Hours Are Likely To Suffer Depression


Working for long hours seem to be a good idea. It is not only one of the ways to earn more for a living but improve productivity. However, there is a catch for working beyond the typical working hours.

Long Hours of Work Increases Depressive Symptoms in Women
Working Over 55 Hours Increases Depressive Symptoms In Women

Previously, we’ve learned that being a workaholic can increase the risk of irregular heart rhythm. However, another study warns us of the danger of working long hours mainly, women.

A recent study1 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says that working long hours increases depressive symptoms in women. The researchers are referring to working more than 55 hours a week.

Increased depressive symptoms were independently linked to working extra-long hours for women, whereas increased depressive symptoms were associated with working weekends for both genders, suggesting these work patterns may contribute to worse mental health.

Weston G, Zilanawala A, Webb E, et al Long work hours, weekend working and depressive symptoms in men and women: findings from a UK population-based study J Epidemiol Community Health Published Online First: 25 February 2019. doi: 10.1136/jech-2018-211309

Does Working Long Hours Really Worth It?

When it comes to working overtime; which means extra long hours including weekends, there is one reason people do it, money.

But is it worth it? Well, in this study, it looks like it is not as Gill Weston, lead author of the study says;

This is an observational study, so although we cannot establish the exact causes, we do know many women face the additional burden of doing a larger share of domestic labour than men, leading to extensive total work hours, added time pressures and overwhelming responsibilities.

…women who work most weekends tend to be concentrated in low-paid service sector jobs, which have been linked to higher levels of depression.


It is a bad news, right? Depression is a mental illness and having a problem in mental health can cause any other diseases.

Even, it can be fatal as depression may lead to suicidal thoughts.

Should We Totally Avoid Working For Long Hours?

Occasionally working for long hours may not be a bad thing. It becomes terrible and unhealthy when working long hours becomes chronic.

Even occasional long hours of work, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must. One of the things to concern the most is the food in the diet.

Make sure the foods are healthy and whole. Avoid consuming foods containing a high amount of refined sugars. Instead, focus on increasing fruits and vegetable intake.

Of course, always choose those mood-boosting foods. Depression is a bad mood, but diet can help lift the spirit as long as the overtime work is occasional.

More good things to do that can help alleviate the unhealthy effects of long hours of work include;

  • Regular exercise – experts recommend MVPA-type of exercise. Combining it with HIIT a few times a week makes it even more effective.
  • Sun exposure – you can easily combine sun exposure with light exercise like walking. Instead of sitting while taking a short break, take a walk. You’ve been sitting long enough anyway. Plus, sun exposure is the best way to obtain Vitamin D.
  • As much as possible, get more sleep during weekends.

Lastly, if you feel bad or having a bad mood while working, take advantage of it. Yes, a study says that one take advantage of bad moods for boosting productivity.


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