Heart Attacks & Overwork

Did you know that working long hours increases risk of a heart attack by nearly 70%?Good health requires a balance between work, play and rest.

study of over 7000 men and women in the prime of their working life (ages 40-60) published this conclusion in the Annals of Internal Medicine. They were all government workers in London. About half the study population clocked the regular workday of 7-8 hours. About 20% worked 9 hour days, 15% worked 10 hour days, and 10% were really overworked — putting in long 11 hour days.

During the 12 years of follow-up there were 192 heart attacks. After adjusting for common heart attack risk factors, those who worked 11 hour days compared to those who worked a normal 8 hours still had a 67% higher rate of heart attacks.

Ellen White, a 19th century health reformer, warned of health consequences that come from excessive labor. “Only a reasonable amount of labor should be required,” she said, “and for this the worker should receive a reasonable wage. If helpers are not given proper periods for rest from their taxing labor they will lose their strength and vitality.” Counsels on Health page 314

Jesus understood this kind of situation, too. When there is a huge job or a great demand and pressures, he said that we should pray for more laborers, not just for strength to be able to work long hours. 

Then He [Jesus] said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV)