Study shows correlation between hours spent in the office and high blood pressure.

It’s not unusual for people to put in long hours at the office these days, but new findings from the University of California in Irvine has found that people who do so are more likely to suffer from hypertension than those who stick to a more reasonable work schedule. However, what “a more reasonable schedule” means is also debatable.

Researchers at the university, who evaluated data from a telephone survey of 24,305 California adults who worked 11 hours or more each week, found that even after considering factors like socioeconomic status and body weight, the likelihood of hypertension coincided with weekly hours worked.

While it’s usually up to employees to decide how many hours their workers need to put in to receive a full salary, most countries have regulations governing average working hours. This, however, varies from country to country. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the average work day is 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.

The OECD’s latest research shows that Mexicans work an average of 9.9 hours a day ― the most of all 29 OED countries. Japanese people work the second most amount of hours a day (9), followed by Portugal (8.8), Canada and Estonia (8.6), Austria (8.5), China (8.4), New Zealand, the U.S. and Slovenia (8.3), Sweden (8.2), Turkey, India, Korea and Ireland (8.1), Australia, Poland and Hungary (8), Spain, Italy and the UK (7.9), Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and France (7.5), and South Africa, Germany and Denmark (7.4). Belgians work the least amount at 7.1 hours a day.

According to the university, people who work 39 hours or less a week are least likely to have high blood pressure, while those who work 40 a week are 14 percent more likely to have it. The more hours worked, the higher the risk. The risk increases by 17 percent for those who work 41 to 50 hours weekly, and by 29 percent for those who put in 51 hours or more.

So while, it may be a modern malaise to spend many hours at work, stress might not be the only factor posing risks to our heath and opening up the door to hypertension.

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