The effects of hours of work on health: A meta-analytic review


Manchester School of Management, UMIST, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK


A quantitative and qualitative review of existing literature on working hours and health was carried out. Meta-analyses were performed on 21 study samples. Results indicated small, but significant positive mean correlations between overall health symptoms, physiological and psychological health symptoms, and hours of work. Qualitative analysis of 12 other studies supported these findings of a positive relationship between hours of work and ill-health. Different factors which may obscure the relationship between health and hours of work are discussed, together with other moderating influences. Taking these into account it is proposed that the results of the meta-analyses together with the qualitative analysis offer support for a link between hours of work and ill-health.