It is not always clear why some people get depressed. Research shows that working on weekends is associated with an increased risk of depression in both sexes. We may have to work on the weekends and have no choice, but there are solutions that can be helpful. The following is a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Join us to discuss the adverse effects of working over the weekend and the researchers’ solutions to this problem.
What is depression and what are its symptoms?
Depression, to that Major Depressive Disorder Also called clinical depression, it is a mood disorder that affects the way we think, feel and behave and can lead to behavioral and physical problems.
Common symptoms of depression include anger, aggression, anxiety, restlessness, sadness, insomnia, fatigue, appetite problems, decreased libido, and more. It is not yet known exactly what causes depression, but depression, like many other mental disorders, can be caused by a variety of factors.
The researchers looked at data from a survey of 11,215 men and 12,188 women working in the UK between 2010 and 2012.
In this study, almost half of women worked less than 35 hours a week, while most men worked longer hours. Also, only half of women worked, at least on some weekends, but that was two-thirds of men.
This study was not designed to prove whether shift scheduling or the number of hours worked per week directly affects the likelihood of developing depression. In the study, researchers also relied on staff reports of depressive symptoms.
It is interesting to note that a similar study was conducted in France in which researchers found no link between working on weekends and depressive symptoms. Of course, their components for defining “weekend work” were not as clear as in this study.
Men who worked less had more depressive symptoms than those who worked standard 35 to 40 hours a week; But the risk of depression was higher for women only when they worked at least 55 hours a week.
Women who worked most weekends had more depressive symptoms than women who worked only on weekdays. Men also had more weekend symptoms of work-related depression when they were unhappy with their working conditions.
In both sexes, depressive symptoms were more common in older employees, smokers, people in physical occupations, and those belonging to the lower socio-economic class of society. Also, this study showed that people who work on weekends have higher levels of emotional exhaustion and job stress.
British researchers believe that the pressures of work, contrary to social norms and the workforce, may explain the results of their study: Basically, these employees suffer from working overtime compared to most of their friends and family. Fear of losing opportunity be. They also believe that depression in men who work short hours a week can in some cases be linked to their health problems.
The Impact of Working on the Weekend on Women
According to the researchers, depression in women who work long hours a week may be related to the fact that women generally take on more responsibilities at home, also known as emotional labor or family management.
“Our findings show gender differences in the relationship between long, irregular working hours and depressive symptoms,” says Gillian Weston, study leader and public health researcher at University College London. “this research, Observational study Is. Although we can not pinpoint the exact reasons, we do know that many women face the added pressure of doing more homework than men, leading to longer working hours, increased time pressures, and heavy responsibilities. “In addition, women who work most weekends are more likely to focus on low-wage service jobs, which leads to higher levels of depression.”
According to Weston, “Working in good jobs can have many social, economic and health benefits; Therefore, we should not deprive women of entering the labor market. “Employers and family members need to consider how they can support those who have long or irregular working hours.”
Effective solutions to reduce the adverse effects of working on the weekends
Nevertheless, the results show that employers need to understand that long working hours and weekend shifts can jeopardize employees’ mental health, says Jillian Weston.
“We need to move from a culture of unrealistic demands and low rewards to a culture where employees are supported and valued, they feel empowered, they feel purposeful, and they have enough time to regain strength and leisure,” he said. It will be given. “It benefits employees of both sexes and makes our workforce happier and healthier, which of course also benefits the employer.”
Sabir Giga, a researcher at the University of Lancaster in the UK who did not participate in the study, says that long working hours can be harmful to a person’s mental health. According to him, this damage occurs for various reasons, such as reducing a person’s time for social activities, personal life and rest. Giga says employees may not be able to control their hours or work schedules as much as they would like, but they can still take steps to reduce their risk of depression. In his view, these steps could be:
- Consider regular rest periods while working;
- Prioritization of tasks;
- Learning to “say no” and not accepting too many commitments;
- If possible, work from home or with flexible working hours;
- Communicate regularly and openly with family members, partners and co-workers, and literally take a break from work and make the most of your time when you are not working and away from work.
According to the researchers, their findings should encourage employers and policymakers to take interventions to reduce their workload without restricting women’s full participation in the workforce.
What do you think? Do you find working on the weekends depressing? Let us know in the comments section.