Women who work more than 49 hours a week are more likely to lead an unhealthy lifestyle and put on weight, according to an Australian study.
The study found that women who work more than 49 hours per week gained nearly two per cent of their body weight (1.9 per cent) over a two year period.
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Women who worked part time gained less weight – just 1.5 per cent of their body weight.
"These findings suggest that not working may have some protective effect against weight gain and may help promote weight loss," reports the study, published in the International Journal of Obesity.
"This may be related to those women having more time to spend on maintaining a healthy body weight."
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Researchers examined 9,000 women aged between 45 and 50 and found that those who worked long hours (defined as more than 40 hours a week) were more likely to smoke, drink at unhealthy levels, and were less likely to get enough sleep and exercise.
The study also found that 65 per cent of women who worked long hours drank at risky levels, compared to 53 per cent in women who are unemployed.
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"Working women are faced with so many different time pressures, which leaves them with less time to engage in physical activity and less time to prepare healthy meals," lead author Nicole Au, from from Melbourne's Monash University told the Sydney Morning Herald.
She hits the nail on the head, it’s not working hard that makes us unhealthy, it’s that there aren’t a few extra hours in the day to let us get on with everything else too.