If you’re a self-described workaholic, you may be putting your mental and physical health at risk, according to a new study from HSE University. The reasons one may have a work addiction — defined as working seven or more hours than everyone else, the study notes — include everything from pressure from supervisors to a desire to avoid home life or earn more money.
The study involved the Job Demand Control Support model, which splits workers up into four different categories based on the level of job control they have and the job’s demands. Of those four, the ‘job strain’ group was found to be at risk of developing disorders related to stress.
The ‘job strain’ category refers to careers or jobs that come with a great deal of demand on the worker while offering them little control over their job. This can include people like healthcare workers who work in a hospital’s Emergency Room. ‘Active’ workers are also at greater risk compared to people who have ‘low-strain’ or ‘passive’ jobs.
Work addiction resulting from demanding jobs that may or may not offer the worker a degree of control over their tasks can pave the way for a variety of health issue, according to the study, including mental health problems like anxiety and depression, as well as poor sleep quality and issues related to it.
Digging into the numbers, people who develop work addiction face twice the risk of depression compared to people who had low work addiction risk. As well, the study found that women had nearly double the risk of developing work addiction compared to men. The findings were based on research collected from 187 adults in France.