People who are working over 60 hours a week are more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and feelings than people working 52 hours a week or less, according to a study in PLoS One, based on data from Korea.
A team of researchers from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea examined data from 12,076 participants (7,164 men, 4,912 women) involved in Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.
They found that people who worked 60 hours or more per week were about 1.37 times as likely to have experienced suicidal thoughts than people who worked 52 hours or less per week — and the rates were nearly identical in men and women.
These findings held, the authors wrote, “even after controlling for household income, marital status, history of hypertension or diabetes mellitus, health-related behaviors, and past two weeks’ experience of injury, intoxication, or acute or chronic diseases, as well as type of work.”
“In this study, long working hours were linked to suicidal thoughts for both genders,” they concluded. “Additionally, the odds of those suicidal thoughts were higher for lower socioeconomic groups.”
Yoon, Jin-Ha, Pil Kyun Jung, Jaehoon Roh, Hongdeok Seok, and Jong-Uk Won. “Relationship between Long Working Hours and Suicidal Thoughts: Nationwide Data from the 4th and 5th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” PLoS ONE 10, no. 6 (June 16, 2015): e0129142. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129142. (Full text)