Working Too Much Gets in the Way of Your Cognitive Function

overtime Working long hours is a drag. Not only does it take time away from friends and family, it also leads to being over-stressed which thus leads to an increased risk of depression, heart attack and heart disease. If that's not enough to make you rethink your hours, working too much can also impair your cognitive function.

In a five-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that the brain's cognitive function is significantly lowered when people work longer hours. They had participants complete a number of tests to evaluate their intelligence, vocabulary and verbal recall. They compared those who worked 40 hours to those who worked 55 hours a week, and found that the participants who worked longer hours had poorer vocabulary and reasoning.

"We actually get stupider when we work too much," said executive coach Tasha Eurich, Ph.D., who is the author of Bankable Leadership. She adds that working less hours, taking frequent breaks and making use of vacation time can help workers become more productive.

So, perhaps it's time to step away from your desk, stretch your legs and spend a bit of time with your favorite people. You'll see an impact on the quality of your work and you'll probably be more at ease.