There’s an irony in this piece that I’m writing. Because it’s 3am and I’m trying to meet my deadline – writing about the health implications of long working hours and overwork. Overwork so intense that it can kill.
Obesity is a huge fallout of overwork. To keep alert, people drink quantities of tea, coffee and energy drinks – and so consume quantities of sugar. And they don’t sleep enough. “I used to go to the gym before I started my articleship but suddenly there was no time,” says Aditi Dhingra, 24, about working at Deloitte. “When you need to choose between eating and sleeping or going to the gym, sleep is the obvious choice.”
The weight led to back problems and deteriorating eyesight. The doctors advised her to limit computer-screen-time to four hours a day. She dismissed this as “the amount of time you would spend watching movies anyway”. The result: more weight gain.
Dr Pradeep Chowbey, chairman, Max Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, lists the ill-effects of overwork: You sit in an air-conditioned environment that ensures you don’t sweat – and prevents salt loss. And you use the lift instead of taking the stairs.
And you eat at odd hours, points out clinical nutritionist Ishi Khosla. “Eating at times that conflict with your body rhythms leads to weight gain,” she says.