The Connection Between Long Hours & Stroke Risk

Stroke risk is a devastating health condition that is connected with long hours. In fact, research shows that there is a significant link between working long hours and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. So, how can you ensure that your employees are managing their workload? How can you balance work and wellbeing?

Other research suggests there is a significant association between stroke and cardiovascular diseases and exposure to long working hours, particularly if it occurs for more than 10 years. In Japan alone, 60 per cent of compensated Karoshi (death from overworking) cases died of a stroke.

Those who work in blue-collar jobs are also more likely to suffer from a stroke. Work factors such as irregular shifts, night work, and job strain are also suspected of being responsible for unhealthy working conditions.

No matter what line of work your employees are in, it’s important to establish healthy work practices and boundaries to prevent the risk of stroke and other health issues. It’s time to help your employees manage their time and avoid working longer hours than necessary.

Here are some ways you can encourage your employees to better manage their time, tasks and overall wellbeing:

Assess current workloads

Burned-out employees are more likely to put less effort into their work and perform poorly. Try to spot areas in your employees’ current workload that might be too overwhelming. Is it a project or committee that they need to let go of? Taking tasks and responsibilities off their plate will improve your teams’ overall performance.

Encourage reasonable working hours and habits

It’s important to make sure your employees are managing their energy levels. Encourage them to set daily and reasonable work hours. For example, don’t reply to any emails or messages after hours. Make sure that your employees also engage in activities that bring them joy such as a hobby, spending time with friends or family, or travelling. Activities that spark joy can counter the effects of negative burnout.

Make it ok to say “no”

We all know it can be difficult to say no to tasks or opportunities. But learning to say no without feeling guilty is essential to protect your employees against working long hours. Encourage your employees to say “I don’t” instead of “I can’t”. According to a 2012 study, “I don’t” establishes rules about your availability. “I can’t” leaves room to suggest scenarios that could implore you to take on the task or project.

Support their self-care

Looking after your employees’ wellbeing is a prime responsibility. It’s important that your employees are getting regular sleep and eating well. Add healthy foods and snacks in the office. Or add physical activities in your daily schedules such as yoga or going to the gym. Simply encouraging your employees to take a 15-minute walk can help manage the stress of working long hours.

Work doesn’t need to risk your employees’ health. By reducing long working hours, your employees will feel healthier and happier. Apply these steps to help prevent the risk of stroke in your workplace.