New research suggests working lots of overtime might be bad especially for women. According to the study, women who clock 45 or more hours a week have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than women who log 35 to 40 hours weekly.
The study authors aren’t sure why extra work may boost diabetes risk, or why this link was only found in women. But they suspect it might have something to do with the hours of unpaid work at home that women tend to engage in more than men.
“It’s important to understand that the work environment does play an increased role in the risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. Working long hours is not a healthy thing to do,” said the study’s lead author, Peter Smith, a senior scientist at the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto.
“If you look at time spent outside of work, women do more care of household members and more routine housework. The only thing women don’t do more of is watching TV and exercising,” Smith added.
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise. By 2030, it’s estimated that 439 million people worldwide will live with the disease, up 50 percent from 2010, the researchers said.
Study team further noted that diabetes is a major risk factor for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. According to the American Diabetes Association, genetics play a role in type 2 diabetes while obesity and a sedentary lifestyle on the other hand are known risk factors.