WELLNESS
01/26/2012 02:09 pm ET Updated Mar 27, 2012

Overtime Work Linked With Higher Depression Risk: Study

Working overtime may mean time-and-a-half pay at your company, but it could also bring an increased risk of depression.

A new study in the journal PLoS ONE shows that people who work 11 or more hours a day have a more-than-doubled risk of a major depressive episode, compared with people who work the more-standard seven to eight hours a day.

Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London looked at health and work data from 2,000 middle-aged Brits over a nearly 6-year period, and saw that there was a definite link between overtime hours worked and depression risk.

Even when researchers took into account their lifestyle and socio-economic demographics, the link held true.

"Although occasionally working overtime may have benefits for the individual and society, it is important to recognize that working excessive hours is also associated with an increased risk of major depression", study researcher Dr. Marianna Virtanen, of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said in a statement.

WebMD explained the reasons for the possible link:

Longer work hours could result in less time with your loved ones and less time to invest in your self-care. Sleep often slides, as do plans to exercise and eat healthy foods. Time with family and friends may take a back seat. Yet these are many of the healthy ways that buffer against stress and let people blow off steam.

Last year, a survey was released showing that nearly a quarter of the global workforce is depressed, with 92 percent of survey respondents saying that their job performance was linked with their mental health.

And what's more, some jobs are linked with higher rates of depression than others. From our partner Health.com, see this list of 10 careers with high depression rates:

PHOTO GALLERY
10 Careers With High Rates of Depression