It’s official. I am working too hard. Yes, here I go complaining yet again, dare I say Bitching and moaning about the long hours and the lack of sleep…..
Must I admit that I am a princess? I do, afterall have the wardrobe and the attitude to make the “Diva Cut” so to speak. Unfortunately working three and a half jobs and cycling like a lunatic gets me benched from the team.
This pisses me off. I long for the day when I am a lady of leisure; when all decisions rest upon where to lunch and what to wear. Do not mourn for me dear girlfriends…. There still are the days when I put on my best and have a moment of nothingness.
Why just last week I took my Spring 2008 Oscar de la Renta dress out to tea on a Monday. Sad and unusual but it was change of season and I did get the frock at a half off sale some years ago. It is now happily Vintage and needed to be worn.
And so on a sunny Monday afternoon I sat in the Salon at the Fairmont Pacific Rim and treated my self and my dress to high tea.
I was surrounded by ladies of leisure. There they sat with their shopping bags and their crease free brows. Their hair was perfect and their laughter was almost infectious. I could not help but wonder if this was just another weekday?
For me, this was a special day in a special dress- an occasion to remember. I had a three year old frock that needed a crumpet and an occasion and this was its coming out party. These women seemed to need a cup of tea on a Monday and nothing more.
It was there among the serenity that it hit me how hard I have been working.
Too many hours, too much coffee and too little tea time had become a habit over the last year. I vowed then and there to take more dresses out for a date on a regular basis.
Turns out that science was on my side.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in April, 2011 showed that working long hours increased the risk of heart disease in a low risk cohort of people in England.
Investigators used data on civil service workers in London to study how the incorporation of information on work hours into the Framingham risk score (FRS) affects prediction of 10-year risk for Coronary Heart Disease.
The Framingham Risk Score is one of many risk scoring systems used to try and predict a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. It looks at specific risk factors including cholesterol, family history, smoking and blood pressure to come up with a numerical assessment of a person’s 10-year risk.
The study looked at the working hours of 7095 low risk people. Fifty-four percent of participants worked 7 to 8 hours per day, and 10% worked 11 hours per day.
During a median follow-up of 12.3 years, 192 cardiac events occurred.
When the investigators factored in the hours of work there was an increase in the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). Compared with participants working 7 to 8 hours per day, the FRS-adjusted hazard ratio for a CHD event was 0.90 in participants working 9 hours per day, 1.45 in those working 10 hours per day, and a statistically significant 1.67 in those working 11 hours per day.
This translates into a 50% relative increase in risk of cardiovascular disease in people who work 11 hours per day versus those who only work 7 hours per day.
Why my sisters? Could it be just the work? Could it be that the work takes away from other healthy behaviours? Could it be stress? Hell, it is likely a combination of all….
My take is that working long hours takes away from engaging in healthy beahviour such as eating properly and exercising regularly. This is how I will convinve myself that the workaholic in me is NOT killing me slowly and in fact has my best interests at heart. (pun intended)
Will studies like this one change my behaviour? Hell no… sisters I have a shoe closet to support. If this means I will die sooner…. We all must make sacrifices for the footwear we love. Feel free to bury me with my red soles towards the heavens.
In the meantime, I will however try and engage in a bit more leisure time…
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a date with a McQueen farewell collection dress. I believe cocktails at the Four Seasons are in order... A’ la prochain, my cybersisters….