|The next time you say that your job is killing you, you may just be on to something.
The UK currently has the longest average working week in Europe and there is mounting evidence that overwork is taking its toll on the British workforce. For example:
• Approximately 106 million working days are lost through back pain, costing the UK economy £5.2 billion
• Approximately 90 million working days are lost across the UK as a result of stress-related absence.
• Stress experts state that consistently working more than 45 hours a week can damage your health, physically and psychologically.
The irony of us becoming a nation of workaholics is that in long term it has adverse effects on businesses. Recent research has indicated that lower and not higher working hours relate directly to higher productivity.
One of the sacrifices of over-working is that less time is devoted to leisure or recreational activities, the very thing that can combat stress and give increased welfare that would allow us to work harder and for longer.
One such leisure activity is exercise. The benefits of exercise are long established. It has a direct effect on preventing or helping a range of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis. For the young it is an important means in helping build healthy bones, muscles, and joints. For the old it is a vital means in reducing the risk of major illness and premature death. For everyone in between, regular activity reduces the risk of disease, controls weight gain, slows ageing and increases psychological well-being.
For those who prefer activities a little more daring than an hour on the treadmill, there are a range of extreme sports and activities that are a fantastic means of expelling all that pent up work-related stress. An extreme sport is any activity that has an element of danger attached to it. Apart from the risk element, many of these sports have a positive effect on your well-being and are great for shaping up physically.
So what is stopping us? There are countless organisations and clubs out there with ideas and activities from the easy to the extreme. All of us need to find the time to relax and unwind after a long day’s work. We live in such a fast paced society. Our world is one filled with endless tasks and demands. If we are feeling overwhelmed with too much stress and pressure, we will not be able to cope with all that life presents before us. These factors make it extremely important for all of us to find time for leisure.
For more information about a selection of leisure opportunities that are open to you see:
About the author:
Mark loves travelling and partying hard, along with relaxing to some inspiring music.
Mark is a freelance health and fitness writer and has published work on behalf of a number of blue-chip clients.
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