Overwork is unhealthy to the body. To an extent, it can even kill you. This is a phenomenon in some places like Japan. They call it “karoshi” (death from overwork). In stating the obvious, you push your body beyond its limits to the point it can no longer sustain itself, it will shut down.
It is understandable that we need to work. We have to work in order to provide for ourselves and for our families. Working hard has become a cornerstone in several cultures. They credit this to building modern and robust societies.
With the increasing standard of living, especially with the rising costs of just about everything, there is that growing necessity to put in more work hours to sustain this standard. As a result, some work overtime that may last way beyond the standard time set. This has been observed in job sectors such as law, finance and technology where employees pretty much give their lives to their jobs.
How Can You Die from Overwork?
According to medical experts, those who have worked 55 hours a week (40 is the normal) have a 16% chance to develop heart attacks. Those who put in 65 hours a week increase that risk by 33%.
Besides heart problems, they risk getting diabetes stemming from taking caffeine and energy-boosting drinks to stay active even when the body is supposed to be resting. There is also mental health such as stress that can take its toll on the body. It is connected to heart problems because stress causes the heart to go on overdrive; making it work doubly harder than it normally does.
Death from overwork usually comes specifically from chronic stress. Overwork causes stress to accumulate over time, coupled with poor eating habits and lack of exercise. This will lead to an increase in cholesterol and blood pressure. If this goes unchecked, it may lead to heart attack and heart failure. This is because the heart could not properly pump oxygen to the cells and brain.
If not given medical attention or prevented, it can be fatal. This usually happens when the victim is not aware; or they are aware of the problem but had no time to undergo check-up or treatment because of this need to keep up with their work.
Other consequences would be mental illness which may lead to depression and to an extent, suicide.
What Can Be Done?
In stating the obvious, take a break. The body needs time to rest and recover from the hard work it has put in. Engage in hobbies, take a vacation, spend quality time with family and friends.
Live a healthy lifestyle. This entails eating right and cutting down on vices like smoking and drinking.
If you are experiencing health problems, see the doctor as soon as possible. It is likely doctors will prescribe medication or therapy.
Remember that we are human beings, not robots. Our body can only take so much abuse and stress. If we exceed our limits, our body will remind us the hard way.
Featured Image Source: Human Resources Online.Net