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Long work hours, weekend working and depressive symptoms in men and women: findings from a UK population-based study

Weston, G; Zilanawala, A; Webb, E; Carvalho, LA; McMunn, A; (2019) Long work hours, weekend working and depressive symptoms in men and women: findings from a UK population-based study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 10.1136/jech-2018-211309. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Globalised and 24/7 business operations have fuelled demands for people to work long hours and weekends. Research on the mental health effects of these intensive temporal work patterns is sparse, contradictory or has not considered gender differences. Our objective was to examine the relationship between these work patterns and depressive symptoms in a large nationally representative sample of working men and women in the UK. METHOD: The current study analysed data from Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, of 11 215 men and 12 188 women in employment or self-employment at the time of the study. Ordinary least squares regression models, adjusted for potential confounders and psychosocial work factors, were used to estimate depressive symptoms across categories of work hours and weekend work patterns. RESULTS: Relative to a standard 35-40 hours/week, working 55 hours/week or more related to more depressive symptoms among women (ß=0.75, 95% CI 0.12 to 1.39), but not for men (ß=0.24, 95% CI -0.10 to 0.58). Compared with not working weekends, working most or all weekends related to more depressive symptoms for both men (ß=0.34, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.61) and women (ß=0.50, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.79); however, working some weekends only related to more depressive symptoms for men (ß=0.33, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.55), not women (ß=0.17, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.42). CONCLUSION: Increased depressive symptoms were independently linked to working extra-long hours for women, whereas increased depressive symptoms were associated with working weekends for both genders, suggesting these work patterns may contribute to worse mental health.

Type: Article
Title: Long work hours, weekend working and depressive symptoms in men and women: findings from a UK population-based study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2018-211309
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2018-211309
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: depression, gender, mental health, psychosocial factors, work stress
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070214
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