Sunday, May 16, 2010

Overtime Increases Heart Risk

A study has (probably unsurprisingly) shown a link between working much overtime and risk of heart disease. It may be no more than a correlation, but it's unclear how risk of heart disease might lead to working longer hours, so it's fairly clear that there must be some causal influence working in the other direction, even if the exact mechanism is unclear and it may in fact be that one underlying condition (e.g. a driven personality) conduces to both working overtime and risk of heart disease.

Either way, this should be a warning for academics, most of whom (anecdotally) work around 50 hours a week. If the trend in academia is towards the erosion of the traditional non-monetary rewards (such as freedom of research) and towards increasing accountability, then someone might have to start paying us properly for this one day...

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