Tue, 15 Jun 2021

GENEVA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Long working hours accounted for 745,000 deaths in 2016, responsible for a third of the work-related hazards as people working more than 55 hours per week have higher risks of stroke and heart disease, according to a joint study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) published Monday.

In 2016, 39,800 people lost their lives from long-hour work-induced strokes and 347,000 had coronary heart diseases (heart arteries being blocked) for the same reasons, an increase of 29 percent since 2000, the joint study found.

The study declared that people working more than 55 hours per week had a 35 percent higher chance to die of stroke and 17 percent higher risk of dying from coronary heart diseases, compared to those working 35-40 hours a week.

Men were particularly affected by these trends as 72 percent of the deaths were males. People living in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions, as well as middle-aged or older workers were also significantly impacted.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, more and more people are working long hours as teleworking has been recommended by companies and governments.

"Teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the joint study.

Nowadays, nine percent of the total population have long-hour shifts and remote work has undeniably increased this situation.

"No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease," said Tedros. "Governments, employers and workers need to work together to agree on limits to protect the health of workers," he urged.

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