According to the BBC (regarding this study)

Long working hours may raise the risk of mental decline and possibly dementia […] those working more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental skills than those who worked a standard working week.  […] problems with short-term memory and word recall.


The effects were cumulative, the longer the working week was the worse the test results were.


Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in workplace stress at the University of Lancaster, said it had been long established that consistently working long hours was bad for general health, and now this study suggested it was also bad for mental functioning.

He said: “This should say to employers that insisting people work long hours is actually not good for your business, and that there is a business case for making sure people have a good work-life balance.

“But my worry is that in a recession people will actually work longer hours. There will be a culture of ‘presenteeism’ – people will go to work even if they are ill because they want to show commitment, and make sure they are not the next to be made redundant.”

According to Wikipedia

Presenteeism is the opposite of absenteeism. In contrast to absenteeism, when employees are absent from work, presenteeism discusses the problems faced when employees come to work in spite of illness, which can have similar negative repercussions on business performance.

It can also refer to the expectation of employers for their employees to be present at work regardless of whether any work is available or accomplished.

See also “Working yourself sick has lousy ROI” and other blog entries on Effectiveness.



  1. The laziest people are “busy bees” who distract themselves with frantic activity from the hard work of thinking, questioning and understanding.


    • According to Robert J. Ringer

      Beware the Mad-Hatter Syndrome: So many people seem to be in such a terrible hurry to get somewhere in life, but when you talk to them it’s obvious that they don’t have the vaguest notion where they’re going. It’s as though they believe that expending energy is a satisfactory substitute for reason.


Tell me (anonymous OK)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s