Do you work for more than 39 hours a week? Your mental and physical health may be at risk, warns a new study that calls for a revision in the 48-hour-week limit set internationally about 80 years ago.
New research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows the work limit should be set at 39 hours a week for a healthy life.
“Long work hours erode a person’s mental and physical health because it leaves less time to eat well and look after themselves properly,” said Huong Dinh from the ANU Research School of Population Health.
For women, Dinh said healthy work limit was 34 hours per week once their other commitments were considered. The healthy work limit for men was up to 47 hours a week generally because they spend much less time on care or domestic work than women.
“Despite the fact that women on average are as skilled as men, women on average have lower paid jobs and less autonomy than men, and they spend much more time on care and domestic work,” Dinh said.
“Given the extra demands placed on women, it’s impossible for women to work long hours often expected by employers unless they compromise their health,” he said.