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When It’s OK to Be a Workaholic

When It’s OK to Be a Workaholic
The Wall Street Journal
By Vanessa Fuhrmans
Published: September 5, 2017

For those who love what they do, being a workaholic isn’t all that unhealthy, new research suggests.

Workaholism by its very name suggests detriment to one’s physical and mental health, and the American psychologist Wayne Oates, who coined the term nearly 50 years ago, likened it to substance abuse. Yet research on workaholism has been inconclusive so far, in part because it is hard to distinguish the consequences of merely working long hours from actual work addiction.

A study published in the current issue of Academy of Management Discoveries not only finds health differences among people who work long hours and those who compulsively work to excess. Researchers also found differences between workaholics who enjoyed their work and those who didn’t.

In the study, employees at an international financial-consulting firm were asked to fill out questionnaires on their work hours, relationships at home and work, as well as their sense of well-being and any stress-related complaints, such as trouble sleeping or headaches.

They also had to score such statements as “It is hard for me to relax when I am not working on something” and “At my job, I feel strong and vigorous.” Afterward, 763 employees took part in medical screenings for risk factors for more serious problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers found no indication that simply working long hours led to stress-related ailments or more serious risk factors, such as high blood pressure.

Read the full article here...

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