Apparently, enough Japanese citizens have died from overwork for them to give this situation a name. The Japanese have called working yourself to death, “karoshi.” As crazy as this may sound, science has proven that it really is possible for people to work so hard that they will cause their own deaths.
Before you start thinking this will never happen to you, remember that overwork and not enough sleep also carries grave health risks with it, on every human level.
Hard work is the cornerstone of the country
Hard work built the U.S. and other countries, and people are proud of their accomplishments. However, experts caution that times have changed and overwork with little physical exercise is increasingly linked with deaths. Deaths from overwork number at least 120,000 annually according to a report.
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How much is too much?
How many hours of work constitute overwork? Well, research shows that individuals who work 55-hour long weeks already place themselves at over 15% more likely to suffer cardiac arrest than those who work the typical 45-hour week. When you work 65-hour weeks, your chances grow to a 33% level of having a heart attack.
Insufficient sleep promotes the development of diabetes because stress increases the chances of this disease, developing by over 44%, compared with those who report low-stress work environments. More than 75% of medical visits for mental health problems are linked with stress at work, with this figure rising to 90% at times.
What health risks can you expect?
Many health risks can arise from overwork, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cardiovascular problems sit at the top of the list of health risks linked with poor quality sleep and inadequate amounts of sleep. Disorders with the muscles and skeleton can develop, together with ulcers and a variety of cancers and diabetes.
Your immune system comes under enormous pressure, making you susceptible to bacteria, and psychological problems tend to develop. Depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and neurosis are other factors to warn people that it is vital to look after their health.
How to lower your health risks
Exercise moderation in life. Sure, there are times when overtime at work is called for, but limit the hours you put into less than 50-hours a week.
Develop boundaries and stick to these to shield your health and wellbeing. Spend time on yourself by relaxing with family and friends. Relationships are vital for emotional wellbeing, and people are social creatures. This means that healthy relationships help to promote wellbeing.
Rest and relaxation are also vital to help the brain recover. A well-rested body and mind promote health, whereas the opposite is also true. So, take time to support your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing while pursuing your work goals.
Get some exercise and eat properly
Physical exercise is also a positive way to extend your longevity and quality of life. Nothing makes you feel as good as an hour-long workout, speed-walk in the park or other physical activity that gets your heart rate elevated. Physical exercise and good eating habits go hand in hand to promote health and quality sleep in between work.
Strive to achieve your work goals, but also strive for a healthy balance that preserves your quality of health enough to enjoy the rewards generated from your hard work.