K-State researcher says working overtime detrimental to health

By The Mercury

Working overtime may cost you your health, according to a Kansas State University doctoral researcher.

Sarah Asebedo, doctoral student in personal financial planning and conflict resolution, Edina, Minn., conducted a study using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. She and her colleagues—Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and director of the university’s personal financial planning program, and Jamie Blue, doctoral student in personal financial planning, Tallahassee, Fla. — found a preliminary link between workaholics and reduced physical and mental well-being. The study, “Workaholism and Well-Being,” will appear in Financial Services Review, a journal of individual financial management.

“We looked at the association between workaholism and physical and mental well-being,” Asebedo said. “We found workaholics — defined by those working more than 50 hours per week — were more likely to have reduced physical well-being, measured by skipped meals. Also, we found that workaholism was associated with reduced mental well-being as measured by a self-reported depression score.”

The link between workaholism and well-being has been assumed for years; however, there was a lack of research supporting the link until this study, Asebedo said. As a full-time wealth manager for Accredited Investors in Edina, Asebedo has found the research useful in counseling clients. She advises workaholics to be aware of the effect excessive work has on their physical and mental well-being and to be prepared for what they can do to mitigate or counteract the effects during busy work periods.

“From a financial planning and counseling perspective, it’s good to be aware of workaholism,” Asebedo said. “It helps me understand what can be the cause of my clients’ stress.

It’s just a reminder that you may want to dig a bit deeper into clients’ work lives. Sometimes you might find that they don’t like what they are doing and they want to make a change, yet financially, they don’t know how they can accomplish that.”

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