Given that today’s work environment allows for round-the-clock access to work, it’s no wonder that more and more people are clocking in more hours. However, those long hours are now being related to mental health concerns, especially in women.
A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reports that women who clock 55 working hours or more every week might have a higher risk of depression. Also, working weekends can improve depression risk for both men and women.
Women who worked more hours had 7.3% more depressive symptoms than women working a regular 35-40 week — weekend working connected to a higher risk of depression among both sexes. Men who worked, including weekends, had 3.4% more depressive signs than men working only weekdays.
There was no difference in the number of depressive signs between men who worked fewer or more hours than the standard working week or who worked weekends.
However, weekend working was associated with significantly more depressive symptoms among men when work conditions were accounted
For women, depressive signs were related to the number of weekends worked.
Work Habits and Mental health
The team found that employment differences between genders. Generally, men tend to work longer hours than their female peers. And also, half of the women worked part-time, while only 15 percent of men did.
Also, married men were more likely to work more hours, while married women usually worked less.
The scientists had several theories on why there were differences between men and women in the workplace. They note that women are more likely to work long hours if they work in a male-dominated field. Also, they saw that people who work weekends tended to work in service sector jobs with less pay.
As the study says that women usually have household duties and caring for family members, so often they have “potential double burden” This type of work is unpaid, and their workload across the board.
But there were a few factors that seemed to affect mental health, no matter what the person’s gender. In the olden days, worker one who smokes earned the least, and one who had the least control to their jobs have more depressed when compared with other workers.
Clinical depression is one of the most basic mental health conditions. It has several risk factors, which can include a family history of depression, trauma, significant life changes, stress, and specific physical illnesses.
The signs of depression may include persistent sadness, loss of interest in hobbies, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, and sleeping issues.
Why are women more at risk?
According to the study point to the potential double burden experienced by women when their long hours in paid work are added to the time they put into domestic duties.
Serani explains this is one explanation and says she regularly sees men and women describing the stresses of work differently.
According to a study states that the potential double burden experienced by women when their long hours in paid work are added to the time they put into domestic duties.
“Women often tell me that there’s not enough time in the day and that they can’t get enough work and things at home done, and that they don’t have the spousal support they need, while men talk about how stressful their jobs are and how frustrated they are and can’t get the work done, and how their spouses don’t understand how stressful their jobs are,” she said.
Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said in addition to home duties and family responsibilities, many other factors come into play, including biological reasons.
How can women minimize the impact of depression?
Researchers of the study hope their findings encourage employers and policymakers to implement interventions that can help reduce women’s burdens without restricting their full participation in the workforce.
They also expect the results that initiate improvement in psychosocial work conditions.
1. Find balance
Finding balance is especially hard in our modern economy where a lot of people experience economic and job insecurity. This can be harder for women because they have higher expectations to be involved in childcare or maybe they are more likely to have lots of friends than men.
2. Get good sleep
Serani said, “It’s better to work during the daytime and make sure to have a strict sleep. Not giving your body enough sleep keeps you from getting time to rest, refuel, and reboot.”
3. Practice self-care
Saying “no” to responsibilities and social outings can help free up time to take care of yourself.
“I like the concept of teaching young girls, women, and teens, as they get older, to be allowed to do anything it is they want to do, but also part in self-care because nobody other can force you to do that,” Serani said.
She suggests building in time to reboot yourself, whether that’s five minutes or an hour a day to meditate, take a walk outside, go to the gym, or meal plan.
“Well-being is very connected to our senses,” Serani said. “Get revitalized by listening to music or a bird outside, or if you love the smell of flowers, take a walk by a flower shop. Make sure you touch things. If you have a pet, cuddle with it.”
4. Get professional help
Serani said about symptoms of depression, such as stress, insomnia, body aches, irritability, and hopelessness, for more than ten days after you’ve taken time away from work may indicate a need to see a mental health professional.
It is no wonder, then, that those who work long hours or over the weekend may feel some work-related stress, which could lead to depression. The authors write:
Mose of studies have shown that once unpaid housework and caring is accounted for, women work longer than men, on average, and this has connected to poorer physical health.
They explain that their findings do not establish cause, but that they may encourage employers to consider new policies that aim to decrease the burden on women in the workforce without decreasing their participation in the job sector.