By Tessa Berenson
February 10, 2017

Bad news for workaholics: A new study suggests you should only work a maximum of 39 hours a week or else risk your health.

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) analyzed data collected from 8,000 Australian adults as part of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. They found that long work hours have the potential to “erode” a person’s physical and mental health. Mainly, it leaves workers “less time to eat well and look after themselves properly,” lead researcher Huong Dinh, of the ANU Research School of Population Health, said in a statement.

Professor Lyndall Strazdins.
Stuart Hay—ANU

This is especially true for women, who researchers suggest should limit their work hours to 34 hours a week; men should limit hours to 47 hours a week. That’s because, according to Dinh, men spend less time doing domestic work.

“Given the extra demands placed on women, it’s impossible for women to work long hours often expected by employers unless they compromise their health,” Dinh said.

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