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40 hour working week increases 'burnout' risk

People who are working more than the average eight hour day, five days a week are at risk of suffering from ‘burnout syndrome. A physiological co...

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|Jun 27|magazine6 min read

People who are working more than the average eight hour day, five days a week are at risk of suffering from ‘burnout’ syndrome.

A physiological condition, burnout syndrome leads employees to suffer from exhaustion, severe irritability and reduces their interest in their work.

Experts believe that there are three different sub-categories of the burnout condition; frentic, under-challenged and worn out.

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The frentic category refers to employees that work long hours and experience stress in the workplace along with a lack of credit or recognition from bosses.

In addition, research found that under-challenged employees and those who had to carry out mundane tasks on a daily basis were also at risk of developing burnout syndrome.

The findings also showed that worn-out workers, who had held the same job for over 16 years, were five times more likely to burnout than colleagues who had been in their job for four years or less.

Spanish researchers conducted the study and carried out a survey of over 400 employees from the University of Zaragoza.

“This condition is increasing in prevalence in Spain and poses a serious problem to society because of the economic losses it causes and its consequences for health,” said Jeszs Montero-Marmn from Spain's Aragon Institute of Health Sciences, while writing in the BMC Psychiatry journal.

He said that the participants of the study who were suffering from burnout syndrome typically suffered emotional exhaustion and inefficiency at work.

However, he did add: “Having a family, partner or children can act as a protective 'cushion', because when people finish their day at work they leave their workplace worries behind them and focus on other kinds of tasks.”