A study of 2,214 British civil servants, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, suggests they are underestimating the long-term damage they could be doing to their brains.
Some 39 per cent worked fewer than 40 hours a week, 53 per cent between 41 to 55 hours and eight per cent more than 55. In their early fifties, they were put through a series of brain function tests.
Those doing the most overtime recorded lower scores in two of the five key brain function tests – reasoning and vocabulary.
Probably years of exhaustion and futility — trying to cram too much into a day, then having to sit through painfully slow meetings while they try to make sure every numb nodding head “Gets It” — take their toll.
We’d do better if we designed jobs like natural selection, where those who get it move on, and those who do not — no matter who they’re related to, what underprivileged or overprivileged group they’re from, or how much we want to pity them — do not move on and in fact get moved out of the office.