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Overtime can lead to heart attacks

Published on 01/02/2005

1 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Too much overtime can lead to heart attacks, Belgian health experts have warned.

The stark public warning has come from the Centre Defending Workers Health, C-DAST.

C-DAST representative, Dr Hans Krammisch, said that leisure time was being reduced at a time when it should be increased.

“Exhaustion and stress rise exponentially in relation to the length of working time,” he said.

This means an employee who works ten hours instead of eight, with the same degree of intensity, will proportionately suffer more exhaustion and stress than the extra hours worked.

This could be up to 25 percent more stress, he said.

Krammisch based his conclusions on a study conducted by Drs Dewitte and Martens that tracked the link between flexible working time and heart attacks.

The study also shows the bigger build up of toxic substances in the body due to working longer hours.

In addition, an 1997 study revealed the greater risk of accidents among bus, train and lorry drivers when they worked for more than ten hours.

Backache, tiredness and sleeping difficulties have also been linked to overwork.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news