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Weighty Impact of Working Mothers

Children of working mothers may be heavier, primarily because of less sleep.

Researchers investigating the links between a preschooler’s weight and their mother’s work schedule found sleep was a primary factor for weight regulation. Children of full time working mothers slept less and had higher BMI’s than children whose mothers worked less than 20 hrs/week. Children’s sleep patterns may mirror mom’s by staying up later for quality time and rising when mom gets ready for work.

PositiveTip: As you juggle home and work life, aim to allow 11-12 hours of sleep for your preschooler.

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Depression Risks Increase with Long Work Hours

Long work hours increase the risk of depression.

European researchers have found the risk of depression more than doubled (OR=2.43, P=0.26) for British civil servants who worked more than 11 hours per day compared with those working 7-8 hours. When data was adjusted for factors like job strain and social support the risk still persisted. Interestingly, the greatest significance was seen when adjusted for socioeconomic status. Those with higher socioeconomic status were at lower risk for depression--even though they worked long hours. Perhaps this is because they have more opportunity to focus on tasks they choose and enjoy? More research is needed in this area.

PositiveTip: A balance in life is necessary for good health. How are you doing?


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Long Work Hours=Higher Heart Disease Risk

Long work hours may significantly raise risk for heart disease.

Examining a group of some 7000 low-risk British civil servants, researchers found that long work hours make the risk of heart disease higher. After adjusting for their Framingham risk score, those who worked 11 or more hours per day had a 67% increased risk for coronary disease compared to those who worked the normal 7-8 hours. The authors suggest "further testing is needed."

PositiveTip: Are you working long hours? Perhaps you need to cut back a bit for your heart's sake.

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Working Too Much is Bad for Your Heart!

Working overtime is linked with a significant increase in heart disease risk.

After following 6000 British male and female civil servants who were free of coronary heart disease (CHD) at the beginning of the study for about 11 years, investigators report that those who worked 3-4 extra hours per day faced a 60% increase in risk of heart disease, compared to those who didn't work any overtime. No increased risk was seen in those who worked only 1-2 hours of overtime.

PositiveTip: Maintaining work-life balance is vital to both short-term and long-term wellness and longevity.