Why Slacking off at Work is Great for your Health

by Amy Morris

Do you think your final words, when lying on your death bed will be at all like this; ‘I wish I had worked harder and for that matter spent more time at work!’ The answer I am sure of is no, and I am sure the same applied to those who have already come to pass.

Don’t Die for Your Job

But overworking and not taking enough holidays or short breaks, has been found to cause an early death. Take for example Moritz Erhardt, the 21 year old intern who took part in a demanding 7 week internship for the Bank of America. Erhardt was found dead in his London dorm room after pulling 8 all-nighters in a 2 week period.

Of course cases like the above are rare, but the moral of the story is we can all be affected by overworking no matter our age. The key is to not let this be you!


As death may not be the only health problem you are faced with from over working, as the Framingham Heart Study has found that when workers take their annual holidays that their risk for a heart attack is reduced by a staggering 30 percent for men, and 50 percent for women.

Overworking Can Make You Stupid

Working for long hours can negatively affect brain functioning. As a study carried out by the American Journal of Epidemiology demonstrated that followed British civil servants for 5 years.

The study found that the civil servants that worked more than 55 hours a week, when compared to those that worked the national average of 40 hours, had poorer vocabulary and reasoning skills.

Your intelligence should never be compromised for a job.

People Who Work Long Hours Are At More Risk Of Being Depressed

Working for long hours also increases your risk factor of being depressed. As a study published in Plos One looked at more than 2,000 UK workers for 6 years and concluded that the employees who worked more than 11 hours a day had more than twice the risk of having depression than when compared to workers who worked for 8 hours or less.

This risk was the same even when the research team removed the influence of alcohol, smoking and physical disease.


Over-Working Can Damage Your Career

Many people think that by putting in more hours at work that this will somehow guarantee them a promotion or a pay rise. But according to a study carried out by Tony Schwartz in 2006 and cited by Ernst & Young, this showed to not always be the case.

In fact, this study that was carried out found a positive relationship between time off and performance. The study noted that for each additional 10 hours away from the office, employee’s reviews were eight percent higher the next year.

So don’t be one of the 44 percent of Americans who doesn’t take their holiday every year, or the one in three British workers who fail to take their full annual holiday entitlement each year. As the race to the top may not be worth compromising your health and intelligence for!