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Health and Happiness: the Benefits of Work-Life Balance

By: Brittany Corners | Published: October 29, 2015

benefits-of-work-life-balanceWorking long hours may increase your take-home pay and your standing with the boss, but overwork can also make you sick. Henry Ford had the right idea when he instituted a five-day, 40-hour work week in 1926. Since then, however, Americans have worked increasingly longer hours and have taken fewer vacation days.

Studies show that the benefits of work-life balance are health, happiness and long-term productivity. On the other hand, too much time on the work-spend-work treadmill can trigger well-documented mental and physical health risks.

Mental Risks

Technology and the emphasis on multitasking makes it easier than ever to be on call 24/7, but this kind of availability leads to stress whether you head to the office or have made the choice to stay home and work, such as a career in transcription for instance. Prolonged stress causes increased blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar. These factors, in turn, put you at risk for depression, obesity, heart disease and stroke.

When you’re stressed, your sleep is disturbed, you pay less attention to a healthy diet, have less energy for exercise and your relationships may be neglected. People with high stress levels have almost 50 percent higher health care costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Physical Risks

Overwork also damages physical health and emphasizes the benefits of work-life balance. Eye strain, wrist and back problems are common. The risks of sitting at a computer all day include weight gain, heart disease, muscle degeneration, neck strain, poor circulation and osteoporosis.

Keeping the Risks at Bay

The benefits of work-life balance, including health and productivity, are too important to trade for a bigger house and a newer car. More and more people are learning mindfulness techniques such as yoga and meditation to manage stress, but if that’s not your thing, exercise and fresh air can have the same impact. Find time to unplug every day, use your annual vacation time and consider a job with less stress if that’s what you need to do to reap the benefits of work-life balance.

All work and no play can make you sick, so step away from the desk to stay healthy and productive. Learn more about the benefits of work-life balance. Bookmark the blog at

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