Depression: women working more than 55h/wk more at risk

Dépression: les femmes qui travaillent plus de 55h/sem plus à risque

MONTREAL — women who work more than 55 hours per week increased their risk of depression, but not men, write british researchers in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

After studying more than 20 000 people, and after taking into account factors such as age, income, health, and the type of job, the scientists from the university of london Queen Mary have found that women who worked as many hours as the number of their depressive symptoms increased 7.3 %, compared to women who were working 35 or 40 hours per week.

Work the end of a week was also associated with an increase of the factors of depression among women than among men. The increase was 4.6% among women and 3.4 % among men, compared to those who did not work that week.

The symptoms of depression, such as low self-esteem, were measured using a medical questionnaire that the participants completed.

“A woman who has children and family obligations is most likely to live in distress, because it becomes like an overload with the work, confirms Luc Brunet, who teaches in the department of psychology of the University of Montreal. When one is at work, one can not isolate themselves from the family situation, it is impossible.”

The phd student Gill Weston explained in a press release issued by the university that this is an observational study that does not establish a direct link of cause and effect. She added that the domestic tasks which are often responsible for women represent a “burden” that lengthens the hours of work and eats away at the little time available, and that women will feel “outdated”.

Another assumption : women who work long hours occupy possibly a job in a field dominated by men, and those who work the week-end, a job is poorly paid in the service sector.

General rule, said Luc Brunet, people who work more than 50 hours per week will be more at risk of experiencing psychological tiredness at work.

“But this is not all the world, he says. It depends on the type of employment, it depends on the support that people have, it depends on their capacity of resilience, the psychological climate in which they work…”

Everyone lives to work-related stress, he adds, but from the moment we derive more well-being than distress, it will also be of benefit. But from the moment the level of distress is larger than the well-being that we obtain, we run the risk of seeing problems.

In case of distress, the important thing is to get support, either from the boss, the union, an employee association, or colleagues. The work-family conciliation is an aspect much more important since few years, but it will not always be obvious to raise their hand to get help, recognize Luc Brunet.

“There’s an organizational image that people give themselves to the work, he said. This is not easy (ask for help), but this may be a bit more than what was previously. The respect of the psychological health of people is a little bigger than it was before.”

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