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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Long Hours and Loud Music 

What do these things have in common, you ask? Well, for starters, they may both be bad for you. A new study indicates that working longer hours (a 60 hour week as opposed to 40) increases the risk of illnesses and of injuries on the job. As an occasional member of the 60+ hours club, and a perpetual resident of the 45-50 hours club, I can attest that I do feel gross when I work too much.
Working 10-12 hours a day usually means that I have to cut the time I spend doing three other things key to my health: sleeping, working out, and cooking healthy meals. I end up hitting the gym for 45 minutes instead of 90 (my preferred workout duration), I sleep 6.5 hours instead of 9, and I eat frozen crap (high preservatives, and often carbs, sodium, and other crap) instead of cooking a proper meal. The 35 hour week may be a disaster, but I would love to try it!

In addition to time spent at work, there is of course the time you spend getting there and back - about 100 hours a year for Americans. During those long commutes, many people create themselves a calm, quiet personal space by listening to music on personal devices such as the iPod. Unfortunately, this too has its risks: a new study has found that nearly 25% of listeners keep the volume at levels which risk their hearing.

This is something that's alwayslong bothered me. Trust someone who knows: losing you hearing really, really sucks. Granted, I didn't do it listening to loud music, but I still miss being able to hear out of my right ear. So if you go deaf by your own choice, I really have no sympathy.

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