Dementia is a significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to disturb the social and occupational functionality. The report came from the American Journal of Epidemiology and they say that the hard workers trouble from the short-term memory and word recall problems. Lead researcher Dr Marianna Virtanen, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said: “The disadvantages of overtime should be taken seriously.”
It is not yet known as to how the long hours have such an effect on the brain that causes dementia. The researchers say that the key problem could possibly include sleeping problems, depression, unhealthy diet, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and most probably stress.
The test was conducted on the civil servants and they underwent 5 different tests of their mental function, once between 1997 and 1999, and again between 2002 and 2004.
The ones who were doing overtime scored the minimum in two out of the five tests which includes assessing reasoning and vocabulary. The effects were increasing, longer the working hours worsen the test results.
Employees who were working for longer hours were getting less sleep and reported the symptoms of depression (somewhat like dementia) and consumed more alcohol than those with normal hours.
Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in workplace stress at the University of Lancaster, said it is a known fact that the longer hours has adverse effect on the physical health but now the study suggests that it effects the mental functioning too causing dementia.
He also said that at this time of recession people will go out and work for longer hours and they would also go in spite of the illness because they want to show their commitment to make sure that they are not the next one to be unwanted.
The risks of Dementia can be reduced by maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet, regular socializing and exercising both body and the mind.