In one study, anxiety and depression were evaluated in relation to work hours. Researchers found that working over 55 hours per week increased the risk for anxiety by 1.54 and the risk of depression 1.66 times compared to those working 35-40 hours per week. This was particularly true for women, more so than men. Cognitive performance can also be impacted by work hours. A group of middle aged British Civil Servants (2214) were evaluated at baseline for vocabulary and reasoning ability. Five years later, those same persons were interviewed, and those that increased their work hours to 55 hours or more, were shown to have decreased reasoning and verbal ability, potentially associated with dementia later in life.
These two studies show the effects of overwork and deleterious health effects. If your environmental demands, such as work, family or other obligations, exceed your body’s ability to adapt you may begin to experience similar symptoms, such as anxiety; depression and decreased cognitive function. By evaluating lifestyle factors (sleep, work and relaxation) and addressing stress response, such as cortisol and hormone balance, we may be able to correct troubling symptoms.
Balance’s Naturopath, Dr. Kelly Simms often tests for stress hormone balance using easy, at-home saliva testing. With that data, Dr. Simms is able to design a plan to support the body’s ability to adapt and cope with stress using nutrition and herbs. Of course no diet, herbal or even pharmaceutical drug is a substitute for taking time to do their hard work and find balance in work and rest!