Long working hours are a killer, WHO says

Tapping away at the computer keyboard, and sitting for hours in the office chair, it's an image familiar to many, but the norm of working long hours is killing hundreds of thousands of people every year.

That's according to the World Health Organization, which warned Monday, that longer working hours is a worsening trend that may have intensified during the pandemic.

In the first global study of s associated with longer working hours around 745, 000 people died from stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours.

WHO technical officer Frank Pega explains:

"We have some evidence that shows that when countries go into national lockdown, the number of hours work increase by about 10 percent.

We also have coming about through the economic crisis and people working at home, we have a digitalization right now, a sort of massive increase in digitalization of work and digitalization of work might actually make it harder to disconnect."

The study produced by WHO and the International Labour Organization focused on 15 countries in two regions.

Data showed that most of the victims (72%) were men and were middle-aged or older.

People living in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region -- including China, Japan and Australia -- were the most affected.

WHO recommended the need for capping work hours to increase worker productivity and protect workers' health.