According to WHO and ILO, long working hours can lead to stroke and heart disease deaths
Over time, the number of people working long hours has increased around the globe to 479 million, which is nine percent of the global population.
GENEVA (ILO News) – Long hours of work caused 745,000 deaths from ischemic heart disease and stroke in 2016, a 29 percent increase since 2000, according to new estimates of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO and ILO conducted a global analysis to determine the extent of stroke and heart disease in people who worked longer hours. a week.
There was sufficient evidence to show that working more than 55 hours per week increases the risk of stroke and ischemic heart disease. This is in contrast to working between 35-40 hours per week. Between 2000 and 2016, the number deaths due to heart disease from long-term work increased by 42 percent and strokes by 19 percent.
72% of deaths were caused by men. The most affected were middle-aged and elderly workers between the ages of 45-74 who worked 55 hours a week or more.
This is particularly concerning considering that there are now more people working long hours than ever before, with an estimated 479,000,000 workers worldwide, which represents 9 percent of the global population. This trend puts more people at greater risk of work-related disability and premature death.”Long hours of work can have many mental, physical, and social consequences.” This issue should be taken seriously by governments,” Vera Package-Perdigao (Director of the ILO Department of Governance and Tripartism) said. “The COVID-19 epidemic has made the situation worse, because workers could be exposed to additional psychosocial risks due to uncertainty in the employment situation and prolonged working hours.
Teleworking, new information technology and flexible jobs that can be self-employed or temporary have all contributed to the rise in the number of people who work long hours. This has led to a blurring of the lines between work and rest.
The report states that to address this problem, governments, workers, and employers must take a number of steps, including:
- The governments can ratify the International Labor Standards and create policies to implement them. These include setting standards for working time limits, weekly and daily rest periods, paid annual leaves, protection of night workers, and equal treatment of part-time workers.
- In consultation with the social partners (workers’ and employers’ organizations), governments can adopt laws and policies to limit working hours and encourage compliance at work.
- In collaboration with workers, employers can arrange working hours to prevent negative health consequences for workers related to shift work, weekend work, and flexible hours.
These new estimates include the number of people who have lost their lives due to occupational risk factors such as cancer and chemicals.
An in-depth analysis of these estimates shows that 15 ILO Conventions on Hours of Work have saved approximately 143,000 lives. Universal ratification could also save 415,000 lives around the world.
Thanks to new methodologies jointly developed by the WHO and the ILO, the analysis was possible. These methods allow for the estimation of the effect of occupational risk factors upon workers’ health. These methods are expected to enable more evidence-based prevention.
This study involved two systematic reviews and meta analyses of the most recent tests. The data was compiled from more than 37 studies on ischemic heart disease that involved more than 768k participants, and 22 studies on stroke that involved more than 839k participants. This study was conducted at the national, regional, and global levels and was based upon data from more than 2,300 surveys that were collected in 154 countries between 1970-2018.
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