Overtime work is a direct path to dementia
Working hours lasting more than 55 hours a week can cause brain damage in middle-aged people.
Perhaps your exploiting boss won't like it: according to new research, a middle-aged man who works more than his allotted time significantly worsens brain function.
The study, which was described in the American Journal of Epidemiology, involved 2,214 middle-aged British employees. They passed tests to determine the effectiveness of the brain twice between 1997 and 2004.
Employees were provided with cognitive tests. Those who worked more than 55 hours a week showed lower results in logical thinking and vocabulary exams than those whose working week lasted no more than 40 hours.
The results of the study do not depend on age, gender, marital status, education, income, physical condition, psychological factors, sleep disorders and work conditions that are dangerous to health.
"This study showed that spending a long time at work negatively affects a person's cognitive function, especially in middle age," the researchers concluded.
The author of the study, Marianna Virtanen, MD from the Helsinki Institute of Occupational Medicine, reported that overtime work is increasingly becoming fashionable, reaching 17% in Europe in 2001.
"Overtime has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, on the immune system's response, reduces the duration and, accordingly, the quality of sleep, disrupts a healthy lifestyle," Virtanen writes.
Among other things, in the future overtime work can result in a terrible consequence – dementia.
"Compared to those who work 40 hours a week, employees who spend more than 55 hours a week at work express their thoughts poorly and inaccurately," the author writes. "In addition, their clarity and alertness of mind decrease, logical thinking deteriorates."