"Hard work never harmed anyone"
"Oh, come on, a bit of
hard work never hurt anyone"
(BBC2 Newsnight presenter in
a 1999 interview on long working hours in the UK)
People with stressful jobs are twice as likely to
die from heart disease, according to a 2002 study in the British
People who work over 48 hours per week have double
the risk of heart disease, according to a 1996 UK government
Long-term job strain is worse for your heart than
gaining 40lbs in weight or aging 30 years, according to a
2003 US study.
Work kills more than war. Approximately two million
workers die annually due to occupational injuries and illnesses,
according to a United Nations report. This is more
than double the figure for deaths from warfare (650,000 deaths
per year). Work kills more people than alcohol and drugs together.
82% of workers at the Department for Work and Pensions
have suffered ill health as a result of pressure of work,
according to a 2003 survey.
The Health and Safety Executive reports that
the number of people suffering from work-related stress has
more than doubled since 1990.
BBC News quotes the International Stress Management
Association as saying: "Each year we conduct research
into stress and each year the figure just keeps on getting
Rising stress at work is causing increasing numbers
of young professionals to grind their teeth while they sleep,
according to the British Dental Health Foundation.
According to Hazards magazine, workers exposed
to stress for at least half their working lives are 25% more
likely to die from heart attack, and 50% more likely to die
from a stroke. Manual workers are more prone to such illnesses
Sources: 'Work stress and risk of
cardiovascular mortality...', British Medical Journal, 19
Oct 2002; The Money Programme, BBC2, 11 Feb 1996; 'Life course
exposure to job strain...', American Journal of Epidemiology,
2003; UN International Labor Organisation SafeWork programme,
April 2002; PCS survey, May 2003; Hazards magazine no. 81;
BBC News Online, 7 Nov 2001; British Dental Health Foundation,
27 Jan 2000; Hazards magazine finding reported by JobServe: