The average workweek in North America is between 35-45 hours, but most people work around 35 hours. Working hours also depend on race, gender, and marital status. On average, men work an average of 41 hours a week whereas women work 36 hours a week. In addition, married men tend to work close to 45 hours compared to single males, and married females work an extra 1.6 hours compared to women who aren’t married. Overall, Caucasian males work the longest per week at around 38 hours, and Latinos work one hour less at 38 hours per week.
Over the years, working these many hours has also been linked to all sorts of health issues, like stress, digital eye syndrome, back pain, and obesity- all primarily related to sitting down on the job and working on the computer.
A new study reports that women who work 45 hours a week are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This study done by researchers in Canada followed 7.065 workers during working hours. Their health was monitored for an average of 12 years.
Within 24 months of the study, the researchers started to record diabetes in the woman who had enrolled in the study. They compared the findings with women who worked between 35-40 hours a week. The results showed that women who worked 45 hours or more had nearly a 51 percent increased risk of diabetes. The researchers controlled for other risk factors for diabetes like age, body mass index, blood pressure, and extended sitting. It is important to note that the findings observed in women were not found to be the same in men.
So the question is: what is the cause of diabetes in the women? The researchers believe that it is probably because women work more than men. When the women finish their office job, they have other responsibilities at home such as household chores like cooking, looking after the children and management of many other daily living activities for the entire family.
Long working hours is the norm for women not only in North America but globally. These findings suggest that it might not be sufficient t simply reduce the “on-the-job” working hours for women. Women are also obligated to work at home, cook, look after the children and do many other household chores. Reducing the time spent on these chores is more difficult, if not impossible. However, it is important to find a solution since it is clear that long working hours are a definite risk factor for diabetes in women.