Image: Time to stop. (via Thinkstock)
by ABC Adelaide
Close to one-third of workers in Australia are in their workplace for 50 hours per week, a health researcher says.
Today is Go Home On Time day, the sixth year the awareness day has been organised by the Australia Institute, with support from the Beyond Blue organisation.
The head of public health at the School of Population Health at Adelaide University, Dr Dino Pisaniello, said the little research that had been done on the need to achieve a work-life balance showed long work hours affected not only the individual but their family.
“About 30 per cent of people, in males anyway, are working 50 hours a week [and] that’s the statistic that’s of concern – the number of people who are working two hours a day extra,” he told 891 ABC Adelaide.
“That might be because of the demands of the job, it might be because they like their job, but for those people who don’t think it’s helping them in a career sense it may be introducing all sorts of health-related issues.”
Dr Pisaniello said research showed the health dangers extended beyond the individual doing the long hours in the workplace.
“Fathers, for example, who are doing this extra time [find] that cuts into the work-life balance leading to things that are adverse for children,” he said.
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The health researcher said workers needed to ensure they dealt with their stress and, for those often desk-bound, that they exercised.
“Those [long] hours may constitute a health problem with regard to stress and [participation] in physical activity,” he said. “If we’re sitting in a chair for long periods of time that’s a problem in itself. We know that from various pieces of research.