The Effect of Long Working Hours and Overtime on Occupational Health : A Meta-Analysis of Evidence from 1998 to 2018

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2102
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Online published13 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019



There has been no subsequent meta-analysis examining the effects of long working hours on health or occupational health since 1997. Therefore, this paper aims to conduct a meta-analysis covering studies after 1997 for a comparison. A total of 243 published records were extracted from electronic databases. The effects were measured by five conditions, namely, physiological health (PH), mental health (MH), health behaviours (HB), related health (RH), and nonspecified health (NH). The overall odds ratio between long working hours and occupational health was 1.245 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.195–1.298). The condition of related health constituted the highest odds ratio value (1.465, 95% CI: 1.332–1.611). The potential moderators were study method, cut-point for long weekly working hours, and country of origin. Long working hours were shown to adversely affect the occupational health of workers. The management on safeguarding the occupational health of workers working long hours should be reinforced.

Research Area(s)

  • Health behaviours, Mental health, Occupational health, Occupational injury, Physiological health, Sleep disturbance, Working class

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