Long Hours may be Hazardous

From the Wall Street Journal.

A study by the University of Southern California on investment bankers found that they started out energetic and enthused, and remained so for the first 2 years, despite working 80 to 120 hours per week. However by year 4 many were showing both physical and mental symptoms. These ranged from addiction to Crohn’s disease.

By year 6, there were 2 groups. The majority still pursued the same lifestyle. The remaining 40% began to take better care of themselves, improving their sleep and eating patterns.

Investment bankers face particular pressures, particularly in the present climate, but lawyers are also known for working long hours. I have known several who have suffered health problems as a result. So there are lessons to be learned.

One of my previous bosses had a concept of “shovel leaning time” as a result of watching men dig a hole in frozen ground. We all need a period of catching our breath during work time. That can, of course, be work related but unstressful, such as tidying the desk. Or go off to make some coffee.



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